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 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

'Based on (an) Actual Lie(s) --- Day 8/107

Walk: Pickleball courts, AMC Kabuki (The Farewell)
Distance: 3.6 miles, 1.5 hours pickleball, yogaish stretches

Awkwafina and Shuzhen Zhou in The Farewell

Ciwt connected with the tender, poignant, sometimes humorous new movie The Farewell.  But probably not as completely as many in the large, mostly Asian audience she was viewing with. From hearing the near continuous and knowing laughter from them, Ciwt could tell the writer-director, Lulu Wang, had captured masterfully the everyday ways of Chinese family dynamics as well as some of the challenges faced by people who have roots in both Chinese and American cultures. Those audience members it seemed were deeply immersed, and hearing how completely they were identifying enriched Ciwt's experience and understanding that, yes, even though we are all residents of San Francisco, there are profound cultural differences.

The actress at the center of The Farewell, Awkwafina (nee Doris Lum) is a wonder, inhabiting the moment, constantly surprising the audience (and maybe herself).  Through her, and Nai Nai, the grandmother especially, this movie about death is all about life.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Art in the Family --- Days 8/105 & 6

Walk: 1. Piedmont Drive; 2. Pickleball Court, Hood
Distance:1,  Lots of lifting getting art up for show; 2. 3 Hours Pickleball, 2 miles, stretch

Two contempory quilts and encaustic painting (with Yale tote)

 In Ciwt's next life, she wants to have a wonderful, close and artistic relationship with her daughter like a college friend has with her daughter. (And a terrific father/husband).  Ciwt's friend is a watercolorist and encaustic painter and her daughter is a contemporary quilter.  Twice now they have had a large joint show which Ciwt has helped hang.  It's a lot of work* but worth it because people come from all over the Bay Area to enjoy the art, mother/daughter ambiance - and to purchase some quality works for their homes or offices.

Two encaustic paintings and quilt

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)