Sunday, October 18, 2020

Another Entrant in Halloween Contest --- Days 9/184 & 185

 Walk: 1. Presidio Pickleball and T. Joe's   2. No, Day of Rest                                                                     Distance: 1. 3.3 miles, 90 minutes pickleball  2. small yoga

Creepy entry way

Ghoul and skeleton tree across sidewalk from entry

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Importance of Heatwaves --- Day 9/183

 Walk: No, Inside avoiding heat                                                                                                                     Distance: 0, a little restorative yoga

So today Ciwt's cats hid under the bed or wherever they could find shade from our heatwave.  And Ciwt took the opportunity to pull down her shades and begin her homework on the Contemporary Drama course she and her friend on 'the other' coast will begin on Zoom in a few days.  

Assignment #1 was The Importance of Being Earnest by, of course, the one and only Oscar Wilde.  It was first premiered in London in 1895 and, in Ciwt's opinion, Wilde's brilliant, incisive, satirical wit is just as alive today as when he wrote the play.  With robust energy, flawlessly and hilariously, he takes down the social customs of Victorian society.

After reading the play, she continued to avoid the heat by watching one of Earnest's several movie versions.  It was filmed in 1986, starred Joan Plowright, was excellent and very slightly made up for having to miss her annual Broadway time with her friend.  BUT Ciwt feels The Importance of Being Earnest really  must be read as well as seen because Wilde's brilliance is non-stop and often spoken in King's English which can sometimes be hard for Americans to translate (😉).   

To tempt you back to your books, here are just a few Earnest quotes, many of which you will probably recognize.  

The truth is rarely pure and never simple

I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays

Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years

To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

But I don’t like German. It isn’t at all a becoming language. I know perfectly well that I look quite plain after my German lesson.

In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.

If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Pretty Day for a Civic Vote --- Day 9/182

 Walk: City Hall                                                                                                                                             Distance: 5.4 miles, Yoga 

So, Ciwt is a total sucker for Civic Centers and their grand buildings like San Francisco's City Hall.          

And today felt like a good one for casting her ballot which California counts on the day of the election.  Instead of using a mailbox or waiting for her usual polling place on election day, she walked her completed ballot to her civic center where an extensive fresh air voting center has been established and manned.  After the volunteers ensured that her ballot was properly signed and dated, she slid it through the slot in the bright red box below:

Felt good and on her way back home she noticed for the first time that a statue of Abraham Lincoln sits in front of City Hall (watching voters).

Lincoln erected by public subscription, 1927

P.S.  - Today (the next one) I received this from Ballotrax:

This is a message from San Francisco Department of Elections. Your ballot for the 2020 General Election was received and will be counted. Thank you for voting!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

United By Books --- Day 9/181

Walk: LP Nails, Presidio                                                                                                                                Distance: 4.3 miles, Yoga stretch

Oh dear, look at the signage.  It's in Japanese; Ciwt will never find a book here.  

But turn right and look again; English!  

And, wherever she looks there are wonderful books including best sellers and more esoteric subjects like   as well as watercolor books she can paint herself (if she could paint, that is), origami books with patterns she could fold herself (if she was a careful folder).  Gradually she feels her cramped covid19 mind enlarging, taking in the reality of another culture that, just like hers, values books.

This experience is what Books Kinokuniya brought to San Francisco's Japantown from Tokyo in 1947 in its first overseas expansion.  Some time after its founding in 1927, the largest bookstore chain in Japan, had made it a goal to cater to the interests of a wide, diverse clientele as well as its local Japanese clients. Since The Japan Center Books Kinokuniya has opened 13 more bookstores in the United States including New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle.*  It then ventured into the Asia-Pacific market (Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and more) and launched its first outlet in Australia in 1996.

In all these places, perhaps and hopefully, Books Kinokuniya functions like it does for Ciwt every time she goes there - as an ambassadorship by books.  

PS - Plus they speak CAT 

*In the States you can find books Kinokuniya in Arlington Heights IL, New York City, Little Toyko Los Angeles, Japantown San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Seattle , Beaverton, Edgewater NJ, Portland OR and Carrollton, Plano, Katy and Austin Texas.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cross Fingers and Update --- Day 9/180

 Walk: Hood                                                                                                                                                       Distance: 2.5 miles, Pedal, Yoga

Ciwt is busy updating her private art tour website.   Just in case.....

Monday, October 12, 2020

Contest Continues --- Day 9/179

 Walk: Presidio Pickleball Courts                                                                                                                   Distance: 3 miles, 1 hr pickleball, yoga stretch

There must be a lot of (grown up) kids on this block.  These houses with skeletons, gorillas and more creepy things hanging off of them are right across from each other.  And the Halloween season is just beginning; who knows how the whole block will look by October 31.  👻

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Contest Begins --- Day 9/178

Walk: Presidio Pickleball                                                                                                                                  Distance: 2 miles, yoga stretch, 2 hrs pickleball

So, many San Franciscans' favorite holiday is rapidly approaching along with Ciwt's Best Halloween Decorations Contest.  It's still early, but she may already have a winner.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

So Grand --- Day 9/177

Walk: Presidio Pickleball Courts                                                                                                                      Distance: 3.5 miles, Pickle, yoga stretch

                                                    The Grand Canal

Canaletto, Guardi, JMW Turner, Monet, Renoir, and many more artists.  Seems to Ciwt she had seen thousands of up close paintings of the Grand Canal but never seen such a full sweep of the splendid waterway.  


Friday, October 9, 2020

Department Store & Ciwt --- Day 9/176

 Walk: No (Zooming)                                                                                                                                     Distance: 0, Yoga

So, being a certain age Ciwt is mindful of not becoming a "remember when" person.  But today she zoomed a presentation on grand old department stores that brought back memories she hasn't quite shaken.  Good ones, yes, there was nothing like cruising the aisles of Bendels or Bonwits or Lord and Taylor and maybe even making a purchase.  So splendid and pampered; it felt like hobnobbing with royalty. 

But then there is Ciwt's memory of her first 'big city' job which isn't so great.  She wanted to spend a summer in San Francisco during one of her college break, and her father helped by arranging a job for her there.  The first morning after she arrived, she put on a nice suit and took the cable car to I. Magnin which turned out to be San Francisco's poshest department store.  All excited, she gave the guard the name of the woman she was to check in with, her boss, and he escorted her to the elevator.

See the wreaths in this picture of Magnin's?    That's the top floor which is where Ciwt was headed.  And where she stayed all day long except for a half hour lunch break. In other words, she was not to be hobnobbing.

The job her father had arranged - or maybe he just told his contact there "put her wherever she's needed" - was as a 'tube girl.'  Like these women (a generation older than Ciwt!) are doing  - except they are seated whereas the I. Magnin tube girls stood all day.  No chairs anywhere.  All the faster to race over to a tube that had been filled with cash, or receipts or messages and whisked up via compressed air from a glamorous floor to Ciwt's workroom.  (By the way those wreath windows don't let in any light).  The general noise level was like those hand blowers you find in rest rooms these days, and you knew a tube had arrived because it make a Thunk even louder than the blowers.  Also because Ciwt's boss spent all day watching her tube girls, yelling at us and scolding us if we didn't move instantly.  (Ciwt is pretty sure that she was being watched extra closely because her boss probably resented having to give a job to 'spoiled' college kid from back east).

At the end of the day, it was down the 'Employees Only' elevator and out a side door.  She can't remember if, as an employee, she was allowed into the 'royal' chambers on her days off.

Ah, first jobs, real life begins.  With recollections like these, CIWT readers can probably rest assured they won't be walked down (m)any more 'remember when' lanes.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Can I Hibernate Yet? --- Day 9/175

Walk: UPS shredder, Japantown                                                                                                        Distance: 3 miles, Yoga       

"Sometimes creating my days can be exhausting...." mused Ciwt-Pooh                                                                                                      


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Path Often Taken --- Day 9/174

 Walk:1. Hood   2. Goodwill                                                                                                            Distance: 1.  3 miles, small yoga  2.  A few blocks, easy stretch' pretty relaxed day (feels kind of nice)


Another Fall is coming to a close without a walk in Ciwt's college arboretum where she spent so many hours.  

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Good Day for Pretty --- Day 9/172 & 173

Walk: 1. Presidio  2. No                                                                                                                                Distance:  1. 5 miles, Pickle  2. 0, 1 hr. pedal, Yoga

2020 photo of California poppies and lupine

Granville Redmond, California Poppies and Lupine, ca. 1920, oil on canvas

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Library? There's an Idea --- Day 9/171

 Walk: Presidio                                                                                                                               Distance: 5 miles, yoga stretches                                                                                                                             

Part of a neo-Assyrian clay tablet at Library of Ashurbanipal

Gold again!  Not intentional and Ciwt doubts that this ancient cuniaform tablet is gold in person.  But it's in the collection of the world's oldest known library so might be at least as valuable as gold.

The tablet is one of several 'collected' (ie, plundered from Babylonia and other conquered territories ) by the 7th century B.C. Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal and kept in Nineveh (modern day Iraq). The library site, which included a trove of around 30,000 cuneiform tablets organized according to subject matter, wasn't discovered until the mid-19th century.  Mercifully, given activities in the mideast, the majority of its contents, including the 4,000 year old Epic of Gilgamesh, are now kept in the British Museum.

Why is Ciwt writing about this today?  Well a friend sent her a picture of the beyond sumptuous and stunning Waldsassen Abbey Library in Bavaria  
A supporter and lover of  libraries who knows little of their history, Ciwt started researching and found herself at ancient Ninevah and the 'gold' tablet. 

After Ninevah it was on to ca. 300 B.C. Alexandria where that Egyptian city's library became the intellectual jewel of the ancient world.  Numerous learned scholars came to live and study on site,  among whom were the likes of Strabo (first major geographer), Euclid ('father of geometry')) and Archimedes (mathematician, inventor, astronometer among other fields).  Sadly the Alexandria Library has been lost to destructive battles in ancient (probably Roman) wars.

A rival to Alexandria's Library was also constructed in the Third Century B.C. at Pergamum (now Turkey).  And quite the rival it was: .  Apparently Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty became so competitive with the Library of Pergamum that it halted shipments of papyrus there to slow its growth.  The members of Turkey's Attalid dynasty responded, it is said, by becoming the leading production center for parchment paper.

From these very early beginnings, Ciwt was off through Greece, Rome, various ports in Asia, innumberable wars, countless book burnings, plunders galore, lavish displays of floor to ceiling scrolls by Roman tycoons who were illiterate, the invention of paper and moveable type, the insistence during the Industrial Revolution that the lower classes be educated to read, Benjamin Franklin, Madison and the Library of Congress, Andrew Carnegie, Bill and Melinda Gates, the audio-visual-digital (and many more!) services todays libraries provide.  

And to CIWT for today's offering after which she will walk and read a book from her personal library piled (decorously) beside her bed.

Friday, October 2, 2020

The World Continues Gold --- Day 9/170

 Walk: West Portal                                                                                                                                         Distance: 1 mile (bad air today),  Pedal, Yoga

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918), Birch Forest, 1902

So you've probably noticed CIWT has turned gold.  Just temporary to honor Ciwt's favorite season.

And what better artist to honor today than the man who painted an artwork you'd find on many people's 'Favorites' list: 

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (Woman in Gold), 1907

Probably most famous for his intensely patterned and alluring portraits of women, it is very possible that the true love of Klimt's artistic life was landscape.  Klimt was a socially difficult, near solitary man who whenever possible limited his activities to family and developing his artistic vision and techniques.  Beginning in the late 1890's he began summering on the shores of Attersee, the largest lake in Austria, where he focused on the only genre aside from the figure that deeply interested him. At Attersee, he rose very early, took his painting tools with him into the woods and essentially communed with the trees, applying each dab of color individually perhaps as each leaf or section of bark spoke to him.  Locals who encountered him noticed his fervor and called him Waldschrat or Forest Demon.

Ciwt has always loved walking in woods and can imagine how much peace and pleasure Klimt's times painting in nature must have offered him. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Cat in Autumn --- Days 9/168 and 169

 Walk: 1. Union Square  2. Presidio                                                                                                                   Distance: 1. 1 mile, small yoga  2. 3 miles,1 hr. pedal, yoga

Autumn light is special, turning Ciwt's world golden and restful.