Monday, August 28, 2023

Look Up --- Days 12/243 & 244

Walk: City Guides Cowntown Architecture Walking Tour

Distance: 3.5 miles

So, Ciwt can't remember if she told you about her one and only D-.  She got it in college on the one and only architecture paper she ever wrote.  From time to time she makes attempts to rectify this deficiency in understanding the fine points of architecture (or any points at all).  Today was one of those attempts at one our great free (donations optional) offerings: San Francisco City Guides Walking Tours.* 

If she wrote an architecture paper today, her main point would be one of many she learned on today's tour: Look Up!  At street level we see almost nothing of the beauty, design and workmanship of the commercial buildings we walk by.  For instance, when you stand at the base of the Hunter Dulin Building on downtown Sutter Street and make every effort to see the very top, you might notice (on a fog free day) some slender green 'pointy things.'  Turns out those are replicas of the origianl twenty eleven-foot high copper spires seen in the photo below.  (Lightweight, majorly secured replicas because who would want one of those heavy spires to come crashing down?) 

This is the kind of detail you see again and again for the first time that bring the art of 'boring' commercial buildings to life. 

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Brown Dogs Have Their Day --- Day 12/242

Walk: Hood and Parks

Distance: 4.5 miles

Happy International Dog Day

Gerrit Dou, Dog at Rest, 1650, oil on canvas

Rembrandt van Rijn, Sleeping Puppy, ca 1640, etching

Edouard Manet, King Charles Spaniel, 1866, oil on canvas

Francisco Goya, The Dog, 1823, oil on canvas

And of course:
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, Poker Game, 1894, oil on canvas

Friday, August 25, 2023

Thin Bottoms --- Days 12/238 - 241

Walks: Parks, Hoods

Distances: Average 4.5 miles

So, Ciwt is so far removed from a present day high school send up comedy she literally doesn't get the title.  Bottoms (?) is all over the place, off the wall, thinly but also overly plotted, squirmy at times, tedious at others - but utimately well meaning.  It seemed too 'high school' and didn't work for Ciwt, but, as she said, it's well meaning so you might want to take a look.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Coffee of Tea, Anyone? --- Days 12/236 & 237

Walks: Open Houses,Park then around Home waiting for Taskrabbit

Distances: 6.5 miles, 2 miles

So, for whatever reason (maybe because she doesn't drink much coffee), Ciwt has never had a proper coffee table.  Until today.  

There it is above.  Or that's how it arrived from Amazon. (Proper doesn't mean expensive).  Since Ciwt had just spent Saturday botching the assembly of a small computer stand that was supposedly easy to put together,  she was reluctant to dive into that box of metal and glass.  So, after some searching, she learned of something called Taskrabbit which matches home projects with handymen in your area.  She contacted them and, sure enough, a nice young man named Nathan arrived and within an hour had Ciwt's first coffee table up and ready to go.

Maybe now she should invest in a samovar.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

White is the Color... --- Days 12/229-235

Walks: San Francisco Various

Distances: Average 5 miles


So, when Ciwt first moved to her new place - after 41 years at her beloved but steep stair old home - she could barely have anything in it that wasn't white.  White pillows, white flowers, white sheets and duvet covers, white cache pots.  White, white and white with maybe a touch of something light (pink, green) here and there.  Any bright colors were jarring to Ciwt, seemed like invaders.

Then yesterday she began looking at chairs and sofas. Every sales person wanted her to go for some shade of white; it made Ciwt cringe. And today, almost a year and a half after her move, she found herself scouring the internet for pictures of richly colored pillows, fabrics, carpets.  Something has moved or changed within. Enough already with white.

Now she remembers much has been written about the color white and things associated with it. It's actually very complex color.  In Western cultures, white symbolizes purity, peacefulness, cleanliness. It is associated with light, goodness, softness.  It also symbolizes new beginnings like the blank page of a notebook.

These are all good, uplifting, positive things.

But in many Eastern cultures, white is linked with death and sadness.  It's often used in funerals and other mourning rituals.  It can also seem cold, stark, isolated. Basically empty or negative things.

Then there are associations with white that are a more complex mixture.  White can symbolize a new journey after passing away. It is the color of reincarnation, of rebirth.  It can be used in rituals to make the completion of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. It opens the path for creations and the new. 

Ciwt isn't sure exactly what she has been associating with white.  But it seems like a positive step that she is beginning to open again to more stimulating colors.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Board --- Day 12/228

Walk: Little Park Next Door

Distance: 2.5 miles

No movies, Windy weather again, Nothing to stream, Sheets to change, Laundry to do, Cat boxes to change, Dishwasher to empty, Etc...

Friday, August 11, 2023

IMAX or Bust --- Day 12/227

Walk: Park, AMC Metreon 16

Distance: 5 miles

Probably mostly out of profound respect for Cillian Murphy's performance, Ciwt has gone to Oppenheimer three times.  She's hardly alone in her awe; co-star Matt Damon said of Murphy's take on Oppenheimer, 'it's one the the greatest screen perfomances of all time' and another co-star Robert Downey Jr said among other praise, 'I have never witnessed a greater sacrifice by a lead actor in my career."* Murphy is in virtually every frame of the three hour movie and is the key reason it works.  It is a make or break role.

Hopefully you will get to Oppenheimer and see for yourselves.  Or go again like Ciwt.  And, here's Ciwt's message today, if you have a choice, see it in IMAXCiwt finally had that opportunity today, and it was literally a completely different movie that the two she'd see on a regular screen.  More immediate, more involving, visually nearly overwhelming.  But, if there's no IMAX near you, you won't be disappointed if you see Murphy, the other actors, New Mexico, great learning institutions and more on a smaller screen.  

*You might enjoy seeing the writer/director and cast members discussing Oppenheimer

You might enjoy hearing this discussion with the director and cast

Thursday, August 10, 2023

New Art, Old Photographer --- Days 12/224, 225 & 226

Walks: Hood, Crissy Field and Union Square

Distances: 5 miles average

K.Libbey Nash, Collage, 2010-2020

So Ciwt has is trying to show her readers how a new artwork looks around her place.  But all that is happening is that she is gaining more and more respect for the photographers who take real estate listing photos, not to mention the ones that shoot for magazines like Architectural Digest.  How do they get the lighting so good?  Show entire rooms?  Keep things so straight?

Ciwt can only get little off-center, poorly lit, cameos here and there.  So please trust her that the piece looks great.

Monday, August 7, 2023

In which Ciwt Celebrates Her Birthday --- Day 12/223

Walk: No

Distance: n/a

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”— Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Nothing But Blue Skies --- Days 22/121 & 222

Walks: Hood

Distances: 3 miles

There have been many changes in the Wood River Valley since Ciwt's days there.  But, happily, that uplifting clear blue sky remains. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

On A Clear Day.. Days 12/219 & 220

 Walks: Pacific Grove and Monterey

Distances: 3 miles x 2 

So, Ciwt missed that clear day when she ate her breakfast at the Pacific Grove inn where she stayed last night.  But an English couple eating at another table told her they had looked through these very same windows the (clear) day before - and seen 6! whales breaching and spouting.  

Later when she recounted this to the inn manager she shook her head and looked dubious. So believe who you will but turns out whales do migrate past the beautiful Monterey white sand beaches and rocky points twice a year and fairly close to shore.  It is very common {with binoculars) to see them passing by and occasionallyalarming kayakers and other small boaters when one suddenly breaches  right beside them.

San Francisco Ciwt has never had any of these whale experiences because whale watchers here get up at 3 a.m. to catch the whale boats that travel through the thick cold fog far out into the Pacific.  The gas fumes are strong,the wind, and temperatures are extremely cold and the waters are so rough most of the watchers aboard are very seasick the entire time.  Many times no whales appear.  Well,  no thank you.  But maybe she'll head down to that inn next migration season and hope it is a clear day at her breakfast table.  If no one else is around, she might see a Huge pod cruising by 😉

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Back --- Days 12/210-218

Walks:  Idaho

Distances: 5 miles average

Yes, Eight Days with no CIWT 😕.  Turns out it just wasn't easy visiting Ciwt's old hometown after 41 years.  Lots of changes of course, especially in the 3 years since you know what pandemic and work from home.  Many, many, many, many, etc. people escaped to her hometown's fresh air and beauty.  And it seems somehow they all had truckloads of cash.  Now they are staying, the hills are ringed with new mansions, prices have skyrocketed, traffic has developed, workers are needing to commute hours to homes they can afford, it's hard to find parking.  You know....  But the beauty endures along with the clear blue skies and fresh air.