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 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 rush hour 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 back together again.   

Was that fun?  Perplexing.....

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.