Monday, November 30, 2020

Perplexment --- Days 9/223, 224 & 225

 Walk: 1. Thanksgiving ramble  2. No  3. Monday errands                                                           Distance: 1. 4.5 miles  2. 0, wee yoga  3. 4 miles, yoga



Three days with no CIWT inspiration!??  Oh dear, Ciwt usually gets SAD (or just plain tired with no excuse) and a bit brain blah at this time of year.  Now after 9 months and counting of covid restrictions, well..... To counteract all that she made a return to the pickleball courts.  Maybe she'll tell you how that's going. 

As you may be aware, pickleball is a fun sociable game and a good way to get outdoors for some exercise. The pickleball welcome mat is out for whoever wants to show up.  It is come one, come all, and usually they do - in droves. 

When the droves arrive at Ciwt's venue they find just a few courts available for 90 minutes max.  So the trick is to 1. get on a court and 2. with players that are a good match for you. 

This is much easier said than done.  With so many people and limited courts it doesn't take long before everybody is working hard just to get on the court. Some people being considerate to others, others hog the court and start forming cliques, some are experienced in the game, some truly terrible, some healthy, some hobbling, some taking injurious spills, most old - except when they bring their little grandchild 😠.

And in the midst of all that Ciwt starts unravelling but doing her best not to show it.  She has heard lots of people are very comfortable - even love - crowds and unstructured commotion.  Not Ciwt. To her competing for place on pickleball a court feels like hailing a cab in New York.  Her energy gets increasingly diverted, and silently around the bend she starts going. 

Then the 90 minutes are up and it is home to put Ciwt/Pooh back together again.   

Was that fun?

Friday, November 27, 2020

City Pumpkins --- Day 9/222

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball                                                                                                                               Distance: 2 miles, 1 hour pickleball





                                                                             









             by Grade School Poet

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 --- Day 9/221

 Walk: Presidio                                                                                                                               Distance: 4 miles

Familes and Friends Enjoying a Thanksgiving View from Inspiration Point, Presidio

Let's see.  So much to be thankful for.  Today Ciwt will go with the way the Presidio Trust has managed and expanded the Presidio trails since the base was demilitarized.  There are now more than 25 miles in the hiking and biking network filled with old growth greenery, scenic overlooks and spectacular vistas. All these layed out in an interesting way that offers many forks so that the biker or hiker like Ciwt can create a different route no matter how many outings they go on.  

So often as she walks through the Presidio and San Francisco, Ciwt reflects on the fact that she did not start here.  At a certain point she took the trail that led here, and that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963 (born in San Francisco)



For information on Presidio Trails and Maps press this link



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Window Seat Days --- Day 9/220

 Walk: No                                                                                                                                                           Distance: 0, Small Yoga














Ahhh.  True window seat days of just reading away are such gifts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Assembling the Harvest* --- Day 9/219

Walk: Grocery Stores in Hood                                                                                                                          Distance: 5 miles














Ciwt has been busy (almost) beating the crowds as she assembles the perfect single woman's upcoming Thanksgiving feast.  Used to be that we had to buy and cook an entire turkey, mash the potatoes and make gravy ourselves, which, of course, many singles or couples or non-cooks didn't do.  Then about 15 years ago, a nearby grocery store tried cooking and packaging small portions of Thanksgiving food and being open on Thanksgiving Day.

Great decision.  Happy people came, one by one, or two by two in droves, and Thanksgiving Day has become the store's busiest and most profitable day of the year.  And now they've started to make the food available a few days ahead.  Another great decision for people who choose to stay home that day (with books and cats). 


*Apologies to foodies.....

Monday, November 23, 2020

Last Act --- Days 9/ 217 & 218

 Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball   2. Same as yesterday                                                                          Distance: 1. 2.3 miles, 90 minutes pickleball  2. 3.5 miles, 1 hr pickleball


Tonight will mark the conclusion of Ciwt's Zoom Contemporary Theater class.  Another Pulitzer winner, the intense and upsetting Sweat by Lynn Nottage will be discussed.  Probably good timing; no more prize winning and exceptional dramatic downers as we head into the holiday season. 


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Plain, Direct, Beautiful --- Day 9/216

Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball     2. Trader Joe's, Presidio Pickleball                                             Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle, small stretch   2. 6.3 miles, 2 hrs pickle, stretch                                           


Wayne Thiebaud, 1961


 
Wayne Thiebaud, Lunch Table, 1964, oil on canvas



Lunch Table (detail) 


Wayne Thiebaud, Various Cakes, 1991, oil on canvas, 25" x 23"


Wayne Thiebaud, Two Kneeling Figures, 1966, oil on canvas



Wayne Thiebaud, Ripley Ridge, 1977. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36"
'


 Wayne Thiebaud, River and Farms Study, 1995, oil on wood, 13 1/4" x 12"







Wayne Thiebaud at Crown Point Press @2019



Thursday, November 19, 2020

100 --- Day 9/215

 Walk: Hood                                                                                                                                                   Distance: 4 miles, yoga stretch


So the other day (November 15 to be exact) the artist Wayne Thiebaud turned 100.  

Remarkable but perhaps appropriate for a man whose art is as 100% American as apple pie. Lemon chiffon pie, actually. He particularly loves those, has painted them often and has said about them "the white top, with its burnt edges, is like a snow bank with the sun shining through."  
Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920), Lemon Meringue Pie, 1964

And that love for his images - from diner food and utensils, to farm and cityscapes, to portraits of the daily things, people and animals in his life - shines through every one of his works.  Something in the simple directness of his presentations is deeply stirring.  Partly this comes from his respect for the classical fundamentals of art: the flat geometry of triangles, rectangles, circles cones, the deep shadows created by light and perspective, the kind of energy you can impart with color and brushwork.  

But what really shines through is Wayne Thiebaud himself.

He still attends as many of the openings and tribute occasions as he can make so Ciwt has enjoyed the pleasure of a bit of Thiebaud's kind, dignified and softly sparkling presence. His first and long time art dealer until his death, Allan Stone, paints a lovely fuller picture of the man: "I have had the pleasure of friendship with a complex and talented man, a terrific teacher and cook, the best raconteur in the west with a spin serve, and a great painter whose magical touch is exceeded only by his genuine modesty and humility.  Thiebaud's dedication to painting and his pursuit of excellence inspire all who are lucky enough to come in contact with him.  He is a very special man." 
  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Woo Hoo?? --- Days 9/211, 212, 213, 214

 Walk: 1. No, Sunday rest  2. CPMC, Presidio Pickleball 3. No, Rain 😄 4. Berggruen Gallery                   Distance: 1. .5 miles, small yoga  2. 4.5 miles, yoga stretch  3. Stretch   4. 4.4 miles, yoga

Four days!!!    CIWT has been getting nowhere for four days.  But this will end; stay tuned please.


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Doubt Now --- Day 9/210

Walk: Presidio Pickleball, T. Joe's                                                                                                      Distance: 3.7 miles, 1 Hour Pickleball, Yoga stretch


So, next up in Ciwt's Contemporary Theater class is Doubt by John Patrick Shanley.  Makes Ciwt miss the incredible Philip Seymour Hoffman - and Broadway where she saw the play.

Friday, November 13, 2020

A Little Help from My Hat --- Days 9/208 and 209

Walk:  1. Hood   2.  Presidio Pickleball and Hood                                                                                    Distance:  1. 1.5 miles   2.  4 miles, yoga, 1 hour pickleball











So Ciwt has acquired a new hat.  She's hoping it will do what it advertises or at least help her along during some of these 'blursdays.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Look Up --- Days 9/207 & 208

 Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball   2. Union Square, Fillmore errands                                                 Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickle  2. 7.4 miles, yoga stretch

So a friend of Ciwt's zoomed her a look at a shawl designed in the image of her New York club's ceiling. Ceiling?! you may think.  Yes, ceiling; the Cistine Chapel - though probably the best known - is not the only gorgeous ceiling in the world.  Far from it.

In Ciwt's friend's case, the ceiling in question is one of the first works of note painted by the highly pedigreed American Robert Winthrop Chanler (1872-1930).  With its green-tinted foliage and flashing tropical birds it was utterly different from any ever seen in 1915 and did much to establish Chanler's reputation as a pathbreaking, imaginative and highly sought after ceiling mural painter (mostly for New York's upper crust).

All this got Ciwt thinking about and chasing images of ceilings, and she thought you might enjoy a look (up) at just a very few gorgeous examples she found from around the world.

                                       Peacock Room. Castello di Sammezzano, Italy

                                         Notre Dame de la Garde, Marseille, France

Grand Central Station, New York, New York

San Francisco City Hall (not to be outdone by the above)

Cistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy


Monday, November 9, 2020

Limits of Wit --- 9/206

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball, Trader Joe's, Pet Express                                                                                        Distance: 5.4 miles, 90 minutes pickleball, yoga stretch













So the 4th week of Ciwt's Zoom Contemporary Theater class features another Pulitzer winning play.

As you can see from the 'witty' title of the book, the play is entitled W;t or actually Wit.  And it needs every bit of its highly intelligent, exceedingly clever wit to balance the raw and chilling portrayal of the coldly clinical and utterly impersonal way dying patients are treated in a hospital setting.  This against the excruciatingly deep, lonely and personal journey the dying person must take.

Not uplifting for Ciwt.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

"..a good life, a full life...."* --- Day 9/205

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball                                                                                                                 Distance: 2 miles, 90 minutes windy pickleball, yoga





 A good man and important part of Ciwt's life died today.  Thank you, Alex.

         



* "I'm not afraid of dying. I've lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?"                 
                                                                Alex Trebek   






Saturday, November 7, 2020

Savoring the Moment --- Day 9/204

 Walk: 1. Hood, Pickleball Court    2. No, just enjoying the moment                                                               Distance: 1. 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickleball, Yoga  2. A little

 
Able at last to just sit, relax, let it all sink in.......


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Petite Autumn --- Day 9/203

 Walk: Hood                                                                                                                                     Distance: 3 miles, Yoga














We don't get East Coast autumn out here in San Francisco.  But, every once in a while you're surprised by a miniature version - a tree, a shrub, a beautiful gold flower - and aaahh...








Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Occasional Peeks Only - Day 9/202

 Walk: No                                                                                                                                                           Distance: 8 blocks, yoga








Another head burying day for Ciwt - with occasional peeking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election You Say? --- Day 9/201

 Walk: T. Joe's, Presidio Pickleball Court                                                                                            Distance: 5 miles, 90 minutes pickle, yoga stretch


Ciwt is busy this election day burying her head in the honey jar, books, housecleaning, pickleball, cats, wherever she can fit it.  

Monday, November 2, 2020

Poetic Fences --- Day 9/200

 Walk: Presidio Picklball Courts                                                                                                                    Distance: 2.5 miles, 90 minutes pickleball, yoga stretch



August Wilson's Fences is so poetically and musically written in what Ciwt will call Black speech pattern that her only comment is "read it when you have a couple of hours."   

In fact, the benefits of reading rather than just seeing great plays is the strongest message Ciwt is getting from her Zoom Contemporary Plays Course.  Reading and visualizing the characters and stage settings as you do so.  You might be off in your mental picture, but just attempting it will bring you deeper into the play.  And you'll see words, phrases, patterns, connections you might miss by watching the play.

They are two different and important experiences - reading and seeing - that work together to really lift the playwright's characters and message(s) off the page.

PS - As 'perfectly' as Fences is written Ciwt has discovered on line that certain lines were cut and the ending was changed by the producer before it was played on Broadway - and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and several Tonys.  At the time of the awards, the young producer and Wilson weren't even on speaking terms (later reconciled) due to the changes so Ciwt will be curious to learn about them in tonight's class. 


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Another Horologist! --- Day 9/199

Walk: No                                                                                                                                         Distance: 0, Housework, then too stunned to move after reading August Wilson's Fences



Fjodor van den Broek*, stand back!  Ciwt has a friend who has been changing her clocks to the exact minute every Daylight Savings Time since she has known her.  (We met when we were both in college, so many DSTs ago).  And, here we see from photos sent she has done it again!!!  


In case you have any doubts, look above.  Every clock reads precisely 8:07.  Meanwhile, Ciwt has taken a quick look at some of her clocks which read: 3:42, 3:43, 3:43 and ....3:48.  Already!  

It is Not easy being a horologist.  Just ask Fjodor and Ciwt's friend, Betsy.


*In case you didn't have time to read CIWT yesterday, he is the official keeper of the clocks and precise time at Windsor Castle.  His title is Horological Conservator.



Saturday, October 31, 2020

Mean Time Please --- Day 9/198

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball          

Distance: 3.8 miles, 1 Hr. Pickleball, yoga/stretch


So, if you are like Ciwt and are challenged syncing your few home clocks and watches, imagine the pressure on this guy:


His name is Fjodor van den Broek, and he is the current horological conservator of 900 year old Windsor Castle.  In other words, he is the man who must make sure all 400 clocks on the Windsor estate are at the precise Greenwich Mean Time moment.  There are about 250 in the castle itself along with 7 tower clocks, and did Ciwt mention this is his first year on the job.  (Remember when you were beginning some of your jobs?  Tension and mistakes galore).


Sounds like Fjodor has factored that in because he has given himself 16 hours over the weekend  to complete his project.


Just getting from room to room will take quite a bit of that time.  And then there is the matter that all this must be done by hand and carefully coordinated with other movements in the clock.  For instance,
one of the clocks is an organ clock made in 1740 which plays melodies by Handel, four of which were composed just for the clock.  So this clock must be calibrated with the brass drum, pins of the organ and the bellows housed in the clock's base.

Organ Clock in the King's Drawing Room

And just to make things a bit trickier, the clocks in Windsor Castle's kitchen must be set five minutes ahead of the rest of the clocks so that the food will arrive in time for the royal family, official visits by heads of state from other countries, investitures, awards ceremonies and other royal functions.


After he has finished his first "Falling Back," Fjodor will resume spending  one full day a week winding up the mechanical clocks to keep their pendulums swinging.  And taking apart each clock for full service every 10 to 15 years.  As he explains "There will be a little wear that will need repairing, I'll then lubricate the mechanism and put the clock back together."  He also adds, "Most of the clocks are quite accurate but every now and then, for no reason, they will suddenly start losing or gaining time - something I've just started calling 'life.'  So I do have to keep a constant eye on them."













Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Awards Ceremony!!! --- Day 9/197

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball (yes)                       

Distance: 3.5 miles, small yoga, 90 minutes pickle

San Francisco kids are walking the sidewalks in costume which means it is time for Ciwt to present her awards for the best Halloween Decorations in her hood.  

In this complicated time, Ciwt has opted for simplicity. So, with no further ado, here are the decorations that communicated Halloween in the most elegant way.

Cutest Decoration that Charmed Ciwt:


Most Halloween Spirit from Workers Who Don't Even Live in the Hood:




GRAND PRIZE (SCARIEST, MOST EFFECTIVE, YET SO SIMPLE)



Thank you for your participation.  Thanks to all Ciwt's neighbors for all their efforts to scare and entertain us this Halloween.  Have fun, take care, and remember it's never too early to start preparing for next year's contest.




Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pointy --- Day 9/196

Walk: Hood                                                                                                                   

Distance: 2 miles

Pointy












Tomorrow the CIWT Halloween Hood Decoration Award(s) will be announced!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Kiddie Swarm --- Day 9/195

Walk: Presidio                                                       

Distance: 3.5 miles, Housekeeping, small yoga




Ciwt hasn't walked during "after school" hours recently.  So she wasn't prepared for the Presidio playgrounds, paths, greens, and all the sidewalks near her home (and likely thoughout the city) to be filled to the brim with kids, 6 across. And teachers guiding them in various sports and nature lessons.  The City and the Parks have become schoolhouses, and that's great (but hopefully not all the time 😉).