Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Asia is a Vast and Varied Continent (Yay!) --- Days 8/102-104

Walks: Book Club (There,There), Pickleball (2), Exercise/Training; Asian Art Museum
Distance: 2 miles, 4 Hours Pickleball, 1 1/2 Hours Exercise/Training; 4 miles

Zhang Shun, the White Streak in the Waves, c. 1827-1830. 
Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861)

So Ciwt completed the journey through both tattoo shows at our local museums* by going to the Asian Art Museum today.  Luckily it was a small show, but, even then Ciwt stopped being able to look before completing it and can say officially that tattoo/body art, meticulous and meaningful as it is for many people, is not for her.  But she does have a deeper appreciation and respect for the history of tattoo art and the sensibilities of those who are attracted to/obsessed with tattoos.  Good for the museums for expanding her awareness - and good also her tattoo tours are over.

Cup with European mount, 1650-1750,
India, Nephrite (jade), silver, gilding enamel and garnets
French fittings c 1850-1880, by Parisian jeweler Jules Wiese (1819-1890)

Asian art is vast in its variety, and, after the tattoos, Ciwt enjoyed going up to the third floor where she was soothed by the delicately carved jade objects which are one pride of the Asian's collection.

* Tattoos in Japanese Prints, Asian Art Museum
   Ed Hardy, Deeper than Skin, deYoung Museum

Sunday, July 14, 2019

All Music to Me --- Days 8/100 & 101

Walk: 1. SF Conservatory of Music (Merola Summer Concert)  2. AMC Kabuki (Yesterday)
Distance: 5 miles, 2 miles

So, it has been a couple of days about young people making their way in the music world/business.  Some actually, some fictionally.  If you are an opera buff and know the names Patricia Racette, Deborah Voigt,, Brian Jagde or many others, you might not if they hadn't spent a youthful summer in the Merola Opera Program.  Merola is the foremost opera training program for aspiring singers, coach accompanists and stage directors, providing twelve weeks of all-expense paid (including housing in some of San Francisco's most glorious homes) study, coaching and master classes with established opera professionals.  To Ciwt's ears, all participants already sound extraordinary, but, in fact, all these young artists have years and years of learning the complex (acting, language, dramatic delivery, movement, costume and more besides developing the gifts of their voices) art form before (hopefully) rising to stardom.  Meanwhile audience members and donors find great pleasure in meeting and supporting talents early in their careers and then following them as they develop.

And then there were those four young lads from Liverpool...And an ambitious young singer-songwriter many years later who lived in a world that had never heard of the Beatles.  That's the premise of  Joe Boyles' Yesterday and, particularly if you are a Beatles fan, makes for a light, delightful hour and a half at the movies.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Tat Right? --- Days 8/97,98 & 99

Walk: PGCC Exercise Class & Private, Bridge & Lecture (Bitcoins), J. Kahn Park Pickleball
Distance:  Plenty of Exercise

So, the times they are changin, and Ciwt tries to keep up.  (Ha!)  Here are a few modern things she has learned lately.


At a recent club lecture she learned the world has over 2,000 new currencies. Cryptocurrencies to be more precise.  They are virtual, ie, air.  One of them is the Bitcoin. Techies love it.   Here's one picture of it:
It also has several logos.  Ciwt likes this one 
because it captures what she thinks is the flyaway nature of any money you might commit to Bitcoin.


Tattoos are now officially ART worthy of museum shows.  Right now two major San Francisco museums, the Asian Art Museum and the de Young Museum  are featuring tattoo shows. The roots of tattooing are 'outsider,'  beginning in the Edo period (1603-1868) as a way to identify prisoners, making it hard for them to re-enter society and find work.  In protest to this practice, the Yakuza tribes began tattooing themselves - often with full body tattoos - and the practice continues to this day among clan members as well as non-members.

In the States, tattoos have been decidely 'outsider' until, well, last Wednesday when the press (including Ciwt) was introduced to the de Young's latest show:  Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin 
by museum honchos and Mr. Hardy himself.  
This elevating of the tattoo from (negative) subculture to an important art form is no accident.  It has been Ed Hardy's lifelong goal.  He turned down Yale Art School in the 60's and opened the first formal, by appointment, personalized tattoo parlor in the U.S. to pursue it.  The shop was minute, but the word spread and eventually Hardy became famous worldwide for his tattoos and decorated the bodies of myriad people from common folk to celebrities.

Driving over to the press briefing Ciwt was skeptical at best.  But when she really looked at the paper originals of his tattoo work and saw the intricacy and artist skill of Hardy's design and application work she was very moved.  Over 40 years Hardy singlehandedly (with serendiptous help from 'outsiders' who supported what he was about) has brought the ancient practice into unprecedented global popularity.  And what moved Ciwt even more was Hardy's humility and pure joy that more and more artists are now free to travel the world, gain recognition and make their livings as tattoo artists.  Also that the human body is more free to be a vehicle for personal artistic expression.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Save Your Non-Blahs --- Day 8/96

Walk: PGCC, Hood
Distance: 2 miles, Exercise Class and Private


So, Ciwt just cruised a few neighborhood clothing stores to check out what was in store for Fall, her favorite season, always filled with gorgeous greens, rich blues, warm tomatoes.  Oh dear, those colors were nowhere to be found.  Instead she found oatmeals, marzipans, super deep maroons, washy peaches, black-browns, black-blues highlighted with harsh oranges.  Now, if those are your colors, you are going to have a wonderful fall.  If not, Ciwt suggests hanging on to your good colors - even if they are threadbare. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

To Russia from Home --- Days 8/92,93,94 & 95

Walk: PGCC (Brexit Lecture), Castro Theater x2 (War and Peace), Home (The Last Czars)
Distance:  Pickleball, bucket of balls; 5 miles x2;  Day of rest small yoga, 1 mile

Castro Theater Organist

So Ciwt has been engrossing herself in things international, Brexit and various traumatic times in Russian history.  The messages have been on the downer side but the quality of the presentations have been top notch.  If you get a chance to see (again) the 7+ hour Russian version of War and Peace on the big screen, Ciwt says take the time to do it.  It is THE epic classic.  And/or if you prefer staying home and are interested in Russian history Netflix six part series, Ciwt found The Last Czars Ciwt gripping.  What a spectacularly and tragically dramatic country is Russia Ciwt is thinking.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day --- Days 8/88,89,90 & 91

Walks: J.Kahn Park, PGCC, Hood
Distance: 2-4 miles, Pickleball games, Golf driving range, Exercise classes

Childe Hassam, Flag Day, July 4, 1916, oil on canvas, 36"x 21"  (NY Historical Society)

Happy Fourth of July from Ciwt and San Francisco   (and Jacquie Lawson. Please press link and enjoy)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019

New Computer, Hopefully.... --- Day 8/85

Walk: Pickleball,  home for new computer installation
Distance: 1.5 miles, 2 hours pickleball

Ciwt is still working with her marvelous tech guy and hoping she won't have to go back to corresponding with her readers by pen and paper.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Gon Fishin --- Days 8/81,82,83,84

Walk: PGCC, Julius Kahn Park, Hood
Distances: 3-5 miles, hours of pickleball and working with trainer

Ciwt hs gone Fishin, Pickleballin, Workin Out but still thinking of you.  Pearls await when she returns from summer.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Movie of the Highest Order --- Day 8/80

Walk: Pickleball, AMC Kabuki (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)
Distance: 1 Hour Pickle, 2.5 miles, small yoga stretch

Ciwt could go on and on with the pictures of/from The Last Black Man Standing. They are all important just the way every moment, word, visual, song is a mesmerizing and elemental part of this amazing film.  It is way beyond Ciwt's words: poetic, mythic, simple, profound, in the moment and timeless, classicall dramatic and grounded in confident new vision.  All with flawless, deeply affecting acting.  Makes Ciwt proud to be a movie goer.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

4 Enjoyment --- Day 8/79

Walk: Hood, AMC Kabuki
Distance: 5 Miles

Toy Story 4 is so well done - visually, in terms of casting, directing, cleverness and heartwarmingness - Ciwt found it easy to overlook that the message(s) are a bit underwhelming.  But then she's not 10 years old  (or younger) so she doesn't know that they are perfectly pitched to what that age group resonates to will take forward through life.  She does know she wasn't as emotionally traumatized as she was watching Toy Story 3,  stayed to the very last credit and recommends the movie highly to all.

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Little History --- Day 8/78

Walk: J Kahn Park
Distance: 1 Mile, 2 Hours Pickleball

Yelamu Ohlone Village of Chutchui until 1775 (before Spanish established Mission Dolores)

Mission Dolores, est.1776 as part of Spain's California Chain of Missions 

Mission Dolores San Francisco Today, Oldest Surviving Structure in San Francisco

California's history has nothing to do with the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock or Pilgrims.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Come On, Ciwt, Just Five More... --- Days 8/75, 76 & 77

Walk: PGCC & Hood Errands, No, PGCC
Distance: 2 Miles & Exercise Class; Nada; Exercise Class and Personal Training

Ciwt has now lived long enough to decide to do something she has put off her whole life: work with a personal trainer.  Boring, expensive, but probably worth it for a few sessions at least.  Stay tuned as Ciwt tunes up.....

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sportsmanship, Yes --- Days 8/73 and 74

Walk: 1.No, Sunday Cleaning and Arm Chair Traveling  2. J. Kahn Pickleball Courts
Distance: 1. Bunch of Stairs, Small Yoga   2. Pickleball, Small Yoga

Ciwt really likes that our Warriors took out a full page ad in the Toronto paper to congratulate the Raptors on their NBA Victory.  Good Old-Fashioned sportsmanship is nice to see.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Light Night --- Day 8/72

Walk: Vogue Theater (Late Night)
Distance: 2 miles

What's not to like about Emma Thompson?  Ciwt thinks that every time she sees the wonderful English actress/comedienne in a movie.  And now we have Mindy Kaling who is climbing the 'What's...?' ladder.  Late Night was partially written, produced and starred in by Kaling along with an excellent cast.  A mixture of comedy and social commentary, Late Night isn't quite excellent, but an intelligent view into some of the unfunny aspects of the TV comedy world as well as a lightish, well-acted get away.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Winged Non-Victory --- Days 8/69, 70, 71

Walk: 1. PGCC (all day: golf clinics, bridge, lecture)  2. Marin Driving Day  3. J. Kahn Courts, Clay Theater
Distance: 1. Buckets of balls, a few Blocks 2. 2.5 miles, Exercise Class  3. 2 miles, Pickleball

Not sure if the image above is of de Lorean or Alec Baldwin who personified him in one of those reenactment docudramas.  So, that's one thing the filmmakers and Baldwin got right in Framing John deLorean, the lookalike. But, by the end of the film, Ciwt felt like the first people (filmmakers) were too insistent that deLorean was some sort of misguided hero instead of the core level creep Ciwt saw on the screen - and remembers during her lifetime.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Birds Do It, Bees Do It, ....... --- Days 8/67 & 68

Walk: 1. Can't Remember, Toooo Hot  2. PGCC, Joe's
Distance: 1. ?, Easy Enjoyable  95 degree Yoga  2. 3 miles, exercise class 

So, yesterday Ciwt came home in the heat to find a helpless baby bird on her steps looking forlornly and helplessly up at her.  Of course, her heart went out as she cast around for ways to save this little orphan.  She didn't know much but she did know not to touch the baby bird because then the mother would refuse to feed it.  So Ciwt went inside to get a cardboard box to coax little birdie into.

Amazingly the chick walked right into the box.  But what next?  Now she could hear the mother frantically chirping and fluttering close so Ciwt lifted the box to a higher ledge where maybe the mother would do - what? - whatever mother birds do.  But the mother flew away and the bird thudded out of the box.

So Ciwt went inside and called various animal rescue organizations until she got an Animal Control 'ranger' on the line and asked what she should do.  His reply: Nothing, absolutely nothing, unless the bird is bleeding or close to traffic.  No on both those criteria.  So, the answer was Nothing.

And here's the explanation.  During the spring and early summer many people in urban and rural environments encounter fledgling birds and react like Ciwt by thinking they should save them.  But these babies are hopping around the ground and panicked because their mother have decided it is time for them to learn to fly and start fending for themselves.  This is is a shock to the babies - and to the humans who find them - but they and their mothers must be left to complete the task.  (Probably the mother bird was frantically chirping to Ciwt to "Get Away!  You are Not helping!").

Still thinking of the little chick's pathetic eyes and cheeps, Ciwt was doubtful about following the control guy's advice.  But at least she was able to sleep without feeling she was abetting a death.  When she woke this morning she went immediately down to the steps expecting to encounter a limp little mass of baby feathers.  Instead: nothing.  Somehow, in Mother Nature's way, the helpless bird had learned self-help.

Oh, and it turns out it is perfectly okay to handle a baby bird - and a bird's egg.  It's mother will not reject it because humans have touched it. Urban Myth for urban dwelling Ciwt.   

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Staycation (# 10,000 at least) --- Day 8/65 and 66

Walk: 1. SF Doc Fest, Roxie Theater (Couper Was Here and other shorts in We Have This in Common) 2. SFOpera (Orlando)
Distance: 6 miles, 5.2 miles

Home Walking Tour Day One:

    Homeless former fireperson, Couper, using skills to take care of fellow community member's broken wrist.

Home Walking Tour Day Two:

    SF Opera stars 'taking care' of  Handel's shell shocked Orlando

So, having cancelled her trips to Midwest, South and So. Cal, Ciwt strapped together her toes, defied Dr, advice, started walking and reminded herself of what an incredibly rich place her home city is.  Probably yours as well...

First stop was a Doc Fest compilation of shorts about different types of present type communities.  We Have This in Common.  Eye, mind and heart opening from beginning to end.

Then there was the classic opera, Orlando, which she left after the first act.  Who would think she would prefer learning more about homelessness over time-honored culture, but welcome to the present day and to your latest SF walking tour, Ciwt.

Friday, June 7, 2019

On Her Toes --- Days 8/62, 63, 64

Walk: 1. No, Toes Stub  2. PGCC Exercise Class  3. Pickleball, bucket of balls
Distance: 1. 0, 2. 6 blocks, Exercise Class, A little Pickleball  3. 3 Pickleball Games, hit bucket of                     balls, TJ's

Remember when stubbed toes hurt like mad for a moment, then went back to normal?  Well, not all of them do that (after a certain age?).  So this week Ciwt went from full rest to cancelling a 10 day trip to the Midwest and beyond - and then to full (rank beginner) participation in, TaDa, Pickleball which has started up just down the block.*

*Well, more accurately reported, she should say she hobbled over to the Pickleball courts and stood near the net barely moving her feet while hitting 'dinks."  But, for Pickleball, turns out, that's fundamental 🌱(seedling)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pug Sunday at the Park --- Day 8/61

Walk: PGCC, T. Joe's
Distance: 4 miles, Exercise Class


Monday, June 3, 2019

Beautifully Missing A Few 'little' Details --- Day 8/60

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema (Biggest Little Farm)
Distance:  2 miles, yoga stretch

Biggest little Farm is pretty much a must see movie, especially Ciwt thinks for young people (who know about death).  The up close videotography of all sorts of animals is fascinating, educational and a rare opportunity.  And the ups and downs of farming life are just revealing enough to convey the difficulty and heartbreak of that life choice without discouraging any young person considering it as a possibility.  The joys and successes of hard, patient work close to the earth and nature far outweigh any downside.

Ciwt loved all those aspects and the story itself of two 'city folk' giving it all up for farm life.  But, as an adult, she had adult questions.  Primarily, how did they keep going year after year?  The real world finances of Biggest little Farm make no sense; farming is an incredibly costly and risky endeavor.  The fact that this all important element was glossed over bothered Ciwt a bit.  Just a bit; it's still a must see documentary.  

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Rocketman Down --- Day 8/59

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Rocketman)
Distance: 2 miles, Yoga

Rocketman, a biopic of Elton John directed by the same man who directed Bohemian Rhapsody is good, Ciwt thinks you'll be entertained and somewhat informed.  But she left the Freddie Mercury movie feeling wonderfully energized while the Elton John movie left her feeling somehow saddish.  Maybe partly because she wasn't really invited into the music of Rocketman whereas she felt like she was actually standing, clapping, singing, going nuts at Freddie Mercury's legendary Live Aid perfomance in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Voici Un Rhino --- Days 8/57 & 58

Walk: 1. PGCC, Union Square   2. A.C.T. Theater
Distance: 1. A few blocks/Day of Rest  2. 5.5 cold, windy miles, yoga

Ciwt has little to add to the huge body of commentary on Rhinoceros.  It is a classic 'post-war avant-garde, Theater of the Absurb' play written by the French Romanian Jewish playwright/intellectual, Eugene Ionesco in 1959 and showing at our ACT.  Except perhaps that she found its plot a bit more involving than Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, another play of that ilk   Ah oui, smartish but no French intellectual is Ciwt.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cheesy --- Day 8/56

Walk: PGCC Exercise Class, Cheese Tasting
Distance: 1/2 Mile, Class

One of the saddest days of Ciwt's life: when she learned that cheese was fattening, loaded with cholestrol and generally not good for her. At the time she was working right next door to a gourmet cheese store and eating their products at will.

Luckily Ciwt has now reached an age where she has (almost) forgotten those facts. And today, thirty years later, she treated herself to a cheese tasting class.  Seven absolutely delicious cheeses!  So, if all that fat and cholesterol, oops, cheese finally takes effect tonight, you'll know she went eating what she loved......

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Great and Expensive Outdoors --- Day 8/65

Walk: Portola Valley
Distance: 2 Miles

It isn't like what they say about boats: something you throw money at.  Yet.  Her deck, that is.

Ciwt lives way up in the sky in her little San Francisco aerie.  But because of her deck she can walk right outside almost like she is living in a cabin on the ground.  She wouldn't consider giving up that freedom for a nanosecond, but every once in a while she winces at the pretty penny that 'room' at her home has called for. 

Never a Bridesmaid --- Day 8/64

Walk: PGCC Exercise Class, SF Playhouse  (Significant Other)
Distance:  2 miles, 1 class

Laura (Rubio Qian), Jordan (Kyle Cameron), Vanessa (N-A Danielle), of the stellar cast members of  Significant Other

Two bridesmaids flank the distraught-because-he-isn't-a-bridesmaid Jordan above.  This is toward the end of the play, Significant Other, written by Joshua Harmon and playing (several years after New York) at SF Playhouse.  Pooooor Jordan, who is sympathetic at the beginning of the play but was given sooooo many words that Ciwt was nearly numb to caring about him at the end.  She still did, but probably would have even more if he had run his long, verbal riffs only at 'significant' moments.

Monday, May 27, 2019

They Do Not Speak --- Days 8/62 & 63

Walk: 1. Errands  2. San Francisco Presidio Cemetary Memorial Day Commemorative Service
Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, small yoga   2. 6 miles, yoga stretch

Memorial Day, San Francisco Presidio Cemetary, May 27, 2019

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Stampede --- Day 8/61

Walk: Trader Joe's type errands, AMC Kabuki (Booksmart)
Distance: 4.6 miles, small yoga

Booksmart is the stampede that is high school.  The insecuities, the unformedness, the cover ups.  The sexual total confusion.  The excitement, the energies that are way beyond what is actually necessary, the terrors, the constant unknown, the moral ambiguity.  All this while you are still living with your parents; that has to be factored in and handled.  All these keep coming at you.

Then comes Senior year when you will say goodbye to your true lifelong BFFs even though you might only see them once or twice in your whole lives after school.  But you don't know that now.  And you don't know the ways the world will play with your innocence and how other parts of you you don't know about yet will come forward to handle that.  There are signs of who might be successful out there, but no hints that it might not be who you think.

The plot of Booksmart is non-stop, often non-sensical, many of the gags bombed.  But it captures perfectly the exposed-heart vulnerability and personal nobility of high school where everyone holds their breath, makes it up in the moment, suffers for days after about how they came across - and then has to go right back to school for more   Ciwt loved it.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Watchcats or When in Doubt* --- Day 8/60

Distance: 3.5 miles, Yoga

     *(When in doubt, make a CIWT cat entry)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

4 Days in May --- Days 8/56, 57, 58, 59, 60

Walks: All over the place
Distances: Usually 3-5 miles, some small weights, missing golf balls at range, no yoga because                           home yoga area under repair seige

Nothing*, except maybe ailing pets, gets Ciwt going down the road sideways like having her home torn up and occupied all day by workmen.  It's back in semi order now and her nervous system is almost there as well.  

*Oh, and also golf.  Someone signed her up for a tournament!?*#  This also will soon be back in order.  Ie, she will withdraw her name.

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)