Saturday, September 28, 2019

6 More September Days (on the court) --- Days 8/168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173

Walks:  Pickleball (except heatwave worst day), PGCC, Hood
Distances: 2 hours pickle, 3 miles, couple of workouts and privates

Even in sanitized, 'martyr' form, Ciwt has a hard time cozying up to Judy Garland.  The voice and sense of humor, yes, but, other than that, Ciwt finds her frightening and unsympathetic.  Sorry, those who love her.  But they will likely be very happy with Renee Zellweger's portrayal of their beloved star.  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Six Days in September --- Days 8/163,4,5,6,7,8

Walks: PGCC, Pickleball, Hood
Distances: 2-4 miles, 1-2 hours pickleball, small to medium yoga stretches

Fall Emmys are tonight, Autumnal Equinox is tomorrow, Dark is falling earlier - and San Francisco is having its summer.  This is a combination that never works well for Ciwt.  Hibernation is on her distant horizon along with SAD, the leaves are crisping and turning fall colors such as they do in San Francisco, memories return to school beginnings, high school and college football games, and Ciwt is pulled to Fall on every level.  She's ready for wonderful fabrics, various fall greens, books, coziness, reflecting, a bit of letting go, integrating and mourning the passing of a year. 

And outside is sun.  Bright, intense sun.  Heat waves into the windless 90's.  Just bright, hot, sunny.

It is a confusing and difficult mismatch for Ciwt, the one time of year she feels like a foreigner in San Francisco and even a bit in her own life.


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.