Friday, April 16, 2021

Tulips!!!! --- Day 9/351

Walk: Hood

Distance: 5.5 miles, small yoga

We're experiencing Tulip Heaven here in Ciwt's neighborhood. 💓

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Not Sitting There Pushing Computer Keys --- Days 9/349 & 350

Walk: 1. Hood  2. Hood

Distance: 1. 3 miles, yoga  2. 2.5 miles,  yoga

Viola Davis

Viola Davis as Ma Rainey

So, yesterday Ciwt learned somethings about Special Effects Oscars.  Those are the ones that have their own awards ceremony with the winners names announced at the Academy Awards.  

Probably like many people Ciwt vaguely assumed the competition in all the technical categories - eg, sound design, visual effects, hair simulation, miniature microphones, and more - was among technical wizards sitting alone at their computers.  Geeks not artists.  

No, even the most tech sounding innovations involve maybe 80% or more artistry.  For instance if mouth movement must be altered or added to the film version of a character (animated or live) the 'technician' must visualize and reposition at least the entire head, chin, shoulder area because they all change with the mouth.  And this must be done word for word, for many exacting hours.

Even the categories Ciwt thought she understood are much more artistically complex than she assumed. For example, see that wavy 20's style wig Viola Davis is wearing above in Ma Raineys Black Bottom? It is made from horsehair - French horsehair - because wigs in that era were.  And wigs in this era aren't - many are synthetic if not human hair.  So the wig designer had to locate the hair from French suppliers, then wash and comb the dust, tangles and, yes, manure out of it before hand-creating the wig single strand by single strand.  That took 80 hours and was just a small part of turning the delicately beautiful Ms. Davis into the 300+ pound, raunchy, sweaty Ma Rainey.   Maybe the artists involved in all the parts of that transformation would have welcomed a computer where they could just push buttons.  

No, the ones Ciwt saw and heard are true artists - taking enormous pride in their painstakingly artful solutions and accomplishments

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

They Rock --- Day 9/348

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4.3 miles, small yoga

Right by the Blue tree is this small rock garden some little person (Ciwt thinks it's a girl) is creating one by one..

Monday, April 12, 2021

Not Easy Being Blue --- Day 9/347

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4 miles, small yoga (with no twists)


There has come into bloom a small tree with the prettiest, softest, most delicately scented blossoms that stuns Ciwt every time she passes it on the way to Presidio pickleball.  It came alive about a month ago, and makes her stop and look every time.

The magnet is that blue color.  There are just so few blue flowers and shrubs she encounters - which she thought might be unique to Northern California.  But it turns out there are very few blue flowers or shrubs anywhere in the world.  According to biological scientists it's a color that is 'infrequent in nature' with less that 10 percent of all species of flowering plants producing blue flowers.

Why? Ciwt wondered.  Again a biologist was there to answer: There is no true blue pigment in plants, so plants don't have a direct way of making a blue color.  In order to do so a few species of flowering plants and trees have 'figured out' (Ciwt's non-tech term) how to go through complicated alterations, and one of these is Ciwt's spectacular tree, the Ceanothus Pacific Blue, which should be capturing her heart for another month or so.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Very Excitable* --- Day 9/346

Walk: No, Sunday rest and finishing documentary stream

Distance: n/a

We know early on (or before if we are Hemingway followers) that the clean writing and macho pictures belied the intense mental and physical turmoil that ransacked Hemingway's life.  So, for Ciwt four of the six hours or two of the three episodes of  PBS's Hemingway documentary were just downers.  Excellently researched and filmed by the superb documentary team of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, but still downers for Ciwt.

By the end of Episode One - which she definitely recomments -  we know where Hemingway got his writing style, that he came home from his hellish WW I experiences physically and mentally broken and began both his macho posturing and alcoholic drinking.  We know about his years in Paris, his behavior patterns with his serial wives, his lying and that he was already the most famous and best writer of the early and perhaps mid-twentieth century.  He had 'rearranged the furniture of writing' as the great writer himself, Tobias Wolff, put it.  We know he had had three serious concussions, couldn't be alone,was a daily drunk, was narcissistc and obsessed with death, was brutal and unreliable in and out of  marriage - and was internationally famous.

Learning all that with old clips of the people and places of  his childhood and handsome young adulthood along with those of Paris in the Twenties is stimulating, fascinating, visually alive.  But by Episode Two, Hemingway is in his thirties and the effects of his mental and physical illnesses - including alcoholism - have gained on him and keep growing.   And from then on we learn nothing new really.  It's Hemingway being brutal here and challenging someone to a boxing match there, and roughing up his wives, and going to bullfights and aimlessly, drunkenly carousing, savaging his friends and people who had helped him in print.  Getting more concussions, killing animals and deep sea fish.  A huge macho display captured around the world in magazines and news reels.  And producing mostly great literature. 

By Episode Three, there he is again but worse, just a shell.  Now the abuse is physical with the wives, the looks and health are gone, the writing is a grind some of it not so good, one of it - The Old Man and the Sea - outstanding.  But what are we viewers gaining from watching this empty, highly publicized, predictable tragedy?  It's just terribly sad, depressing, the man is very very sick and has been for decades.  Too much for Ciwt; she had difficulty shaking the glumness of it all.

* In the early twenties and before Hemingway had a publisher for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote Maxwell Perkins a letter introducing Hemingway and recommending his writing.  Among other things, Fitzgerald wrote: “He’s very excitable, and I can’t promise he’ll know his own mind next month.”

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Cat Guys --- Days 9/343, 344 & 345

 Walk: 1. Fillmore for lunch with friend (imagine that)  2. Hood errands 3. Hood 

Distance: 1. 2 miles   2. 4.5 miles  3. 3.5 miles, random stretches and slight yoga poses daily

So, the 1920's, 30's, 40's  and Paris are alive and well in Ciwt's cultural considerations.  The Calder-Picasso  Show at our de Young Museum has now been joined by Ken Burns' PBS documentary on Hemingway.  And Ciwt is busy taking that in.  Stay tuned for her thoughts, but for now who knew Hemingway was a cat person?   Not Ciwt.

He's in good company 🐈




And many more........................................


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Don't Twist Either --- Day 9/342

Walk: Golden Gate Park

Distance: 3.8 miles

While her back heals, Ciwt isn't allowed to do any twisting.

So guess she'll just have to stick with these straight ahead movements for a while.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Don't Smile! --- Days 9/340 & 341

Walk: 1. Hood  2. Union Square Chiropractor

Distance: 1. 4 miles  2. 1.5 miles

So, the verdict on Ciwt's back pain is in: iliolumbar ligament tear requring at least a month of detoxing from pickleball.  And of the many interesting things she has been doing with her excess energy (like filling out and paying her taxes), Ciwt renewed her passport.  And that meant renewing her passport photo.  

Ten years ago when Ciwt was way too limber for any back tear, she was allowed to smile and look likeable for her photo.  But now, when she is ten years older, no smiling allowed according the nice young Walgreens counter worker/photographer.  Oh dear, whoever has to look at it might be in for a fright.  Then again, maybe that will be nobody, because she only used her old one for one trip to Paris in ten years.  

But! She has been watching Rick Steves before Jeopardy every evening during this covid year, so she considers herself quite the international woman at this point.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Street Easter --- Day 9/339

Walk: Hood

Distance: 4 miles, a little stretching (which hopefully will help - unlike yesterday's stretches 😢)

Their house

Across the Street from their house

Ciwt walked over their way this Easter, and yes!  No matter what the holiday, these San Francisco fellow travelers provide a two-part festive celebration for the delight of all passersby.  Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Happy Hunting --- Day 9/338

Walk:  No, couldn't figure out what to do today

Distance: n/a, yoga

Peter Carl Faberge (supervisor), Imperial Coronation Egg, 1897, to commemoriate Tsarina, Empress Alex Fyodorovna

Easter season puts Ciwt in mind of the splendid "Imperial" eggs created by the jewelry firm House of Faberge in Saint Petersburg, Russia between 1885 and 1917  Fifty-two of these most special Imperial ones were made (forty-six survive) under the supervision of Peter Carl Faberge specifically for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II.  They were Easter gifts for their wives and mothers, and it is said not even the Tsars knew what form these elaborate bejeweled eggs would take - only that they would be unique and contain a surprise like the exquisite gold and enamel chariot above.

On their Easter egg hunt tomorrow some child or lucky lady may find an egg with the Faberge name on it.  It might even be heirloom quality.  But it won't be one of the orignial - and only - 69 eggs fabricated in Russia. Fifty-seven known ones survive and are held in museums and the collections of immensely wealthy individuals or foundations.  After they were created came the Russian Revolution, the nationalization of the Faberge workshop and the departure of the Faberge family from Russia in 1918.

What these hunters may find lying in the grass is an egg by the several companies who have since acquired the Faberge trademark.  And they be very fortunate campers because the quality of these eggs can be quite high, especially those made by the Victor Mayer Jewelry Company from 1998 - 2009.  Plus they are very pretty, and won't break as easily as real eggs.  Happy Hunting.

Friday, April 2, 2021

More Time for Chores --- Days 9/336 & 337

Walk: 1. Union Square 2. Hood

Distance: 1. 3.5 miles, Yoga for Back 2. 3 miles, Yoga

Oh joy, Ciwt's back strain recovery has given her so  much more time for household chores.....