Sunday, December 31, 2023

Old Clothes, Black, With Holes --- Day 12/360

Walk: No, clearing out old 2023 around her home

Distance: n/a


2023 is very old; this day is its last.   At midnight wherever you are, all its moments will have elapsed.

In art, when you mix together they make black.  It is a color of completion.  

So it seemed right to Ciwt to honor all that has comprised 2023 by wearing black.  Old black cashmere, pilling with holes.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Just One More Episode --- Days 12/357, 358 & 359

Walk: de Young Museum, de Young Museum, Hood

Distances: 5.8,  3,   5.5 miles

Preparing and giving Ciwt recent art tour was pretty intense so she's streaming a few seasons of tv to restore....

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Boxing Days --- Days 12/355 & 356

Walk: 1. de Young Museum, AMC Kabuki (Ferrari)  2. Homew in the Rain with Boxes

Distance: 3.5 miles, 0 but lots of  slitting boxes open, liftimg things in and out, stomping to flatten 

Ciwt likes cars and two of the excellent stars so she recommends Ferrari

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas on the Field --- Day 12/354

Walk: Crissy Field

Distance: 4 miles

Many days it feels like Ciwt has the rejuvenating Crissy Field almost to yourself on her walk.  Not on Christmas she learned today!

Still so invigorating.  Many languages being spoken by people she walked by.  Lots of dogs: one named Walter she heard, another was Otis, a little shaggy one was running with her Asian owner, and it sounded like her name was SKA.  A couple of new log teepees had been erected by someone overnight.


And some people were even just standing in the Bay water.  Without swimming, wearing wet suits or doing anything in particular to keep warm.  That water is Really, Really cold.

Nice to see people enjoying their Christmas Days in their own ways.  Hope you have been enjoying yours.   

Love, Ciwt

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Some Open on Christmas Eve.. --- Day 12/352

Walk: Small Hood

Distance: 1 mile

First Day Open - Just in time for Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 23, 2023

December 23 is..... --- 12/351

Walk: Hood

Distance: 2 miles

Thanks computer search box for the 'Festivus miracle' of telling me today is Festivus Day (December 23) and Wikipedia for explaining what in  the world it is.

Probably all Seinfeld fans know, but for the rest of us:

Festivus (/ˈfɛstɪvəs/) is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. Originally created by author Daniel O'Keefe, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike",[1][2] which O'Keefe's son, Dan O'Keefe, co-wrote.

The non-commercial holiday's celebration, as depicted on Seinfeld, occurs on December 23 and includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the "airing of grievances" and "feats of strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".[3] The episode refers to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us".

It has been described both as a parody holiday festival and as a form of playful consumer resistance.[4] Journalist Allen Salkin describes it as "the perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering".

Friday, December 22, 2023

Short --- Day 12/350

Walk: Public Storage
Distance: 3 miles

3:00 p.m.

Not really 3 in the afternoon, but not far off.  Today is the shortest day of 2023. More and more light to follow. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

North Beach Firemen --- Days 12/348 & 349

Walk: North Beach

Distance: 5 miles

"To Commemorate the Volunteer Fire Department of San Francisco  1849-1866
Erected by Bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit"
(with her tower to them - Coit Tower -  rising in the backgtound)

And she would be just as proud of them today

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Stairway to the Holidays --- Day 12/347

Walk: Paul Thiebaud Gallery

Distance: 5.5 miles

Monday, December 18, 2023

Tis the Season...2 --- Day 12/345

Walk: Little Park Across the Way, Hood

Distance: 4 miles

Gustav Wentzel (Norway, 1829-1927), Ski Training, 1898, oil on canvas

Another dear holiday season painting.  Certainly to Ciwt who grew up in snowy winter among many of Norwegian stock.  And who 'lived on skis' for several years in the mountains.  She was just reading some of the daily ski rates at the resorts out West ($250 and up) and feeling thankful for her years when she could tromp around for free like this young skier and later buy an unlimited season pass for $300.

Such a glorious sport.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Tis the Season... --- Day 12/344

Walk: Little Park Next Door and Hood

Distance: 3.5 miles

Elisabeth Sinding (Norway, 1846-1930), Winter Guests, 1887, o/c

Tis the season for heartwarming art.

(perhaps more to come....)

Saturday, December 16, 2023

$M Memories --- Days 12/342 & 343

Walk: Curran Theater (Milion Dollar Quartet Christmas)

Distance: 6.5 miles

'Jerry Lee Lewis, ---, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Sam Phillips' sing together in Million Dollar Quartet Christmas 

Just the right amount of Christmas cheer for Ciwt.  Fun in the theater and then to come home and binge on showstopper Elvis videos and the magnificient Richard Kiley singing Impossible Dream in the original Boradway sound track of Man of LaMancha.

Those songs, those voices.... Oh my...Sigh....

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Letting Friends Decorate --- Day 12/340 & 341

Walk: 1. Union Square (Dentist😒) 2. Marin Drive and Rest

Distance: 4 miles, 1/2 mile maybe

Thanks to gifts from friends. Ciwt's place is getting into the holiday spirit. And a little is going a long way for Ciwt.  

The enthusiastic Penquin Santa came all the way up from Florida - and must be much more comfortable in the cool San Francisco climate.  And the amaryllis sprouting in the glass vase is thoroughly enjoying its place in the sun.  It was only small leaf about an inch high when it arrived from her friend's favorite nursery, and it now looks like it will produce gorgeous flowers in time for Christmas.  

(On the floor to the right in the brown basket, you can see three new leaves from the amaryllis her friend sent last year. Maybe it will bloom.   Stay tuned....).

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Me and D --- Day 12/339

Walk: de Young Museum

Distance: 6 miles

So Ciwt has certainly  never thought she had anything in common with Dakota Johnson.  But recently she read a headline: Dakota John Likes to Sleep for 14 Hours a Night and realized, whoa, maybe she did.  

Even at this time of year when Ciwt enters her S.A.D* period (essentially hibernation) fourteen hours is several more hours than Ciwt lets herself log.  But Johnson also said"I'm not functional if I get less than 10. Sleep is my number one priority in life."  And  Ciwt can definitely relate to that from now until around January 6 when, like clockwork, SAD moves on, she comes out of her hibernation and the world is bright again.

That's Dakota above in a 2016 cover shoot.  Maybe the photographer planned those photos - or maybe Dakota talked her/him into them so she could grab a little shut eye. 😉

*Seasonal Affective Disorder

Monday, December 11, 2023

Yes, Virginia, There Are Christmas Decorations in San Francisco --- Day 12/338

Walk: Union Square

Distance: 5 miles

It's subtle.  After knocking themselves (and, for some, probably their exchequers) out decorating for Halloween and Thanksgiving, the homes around Ciwt are traditionally very understated come the December holidays.  Like really not decorated at all except for a few stranglers here and there.

So Ciwt went downtown to Union Square today hoping to catch some holiday spirit. And there it was!

Union Square Tree

Our little Rockefeller Center rink

Enjoying Macy's Windows with the Pidgeons
Two Trees (Look closely and you see Neiman Marcus's beautiful tree in their rotunda)

                   She walked back home leaving her holiday heart in downtown San Francisco.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Does It Rhyme? --- Day 13/337

Walk: No, Day of rest

Distance: 0, yoga

Poet Marc Zegans reading from his volume Lyon Street 

So turns out Ciwt has several poetry writing friends who have been presenting recently.  One friend sent a video of her reading in Idaho.  And yesterday Marc Zegans and several poet friends celebrated the one year anniversary of Zegans' most recent book of poetry,  Lyon Street (he has published 5 others). Ciwt enjoyed all the readings but was interested to find herself a bit dizzy and tired at the end of the afternoon. Movies, opera, ballet, entertain and often energize, while listeing to poetry requires a deep, attentive listening to get the message (or try).

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Specials --- Day 12/336

 Walk: Magic Flute, Presidio Library (poetry reading)

Distance: 3 miles 

So Ciwt applauded Time Magazine's Person of the Year but didn't know who was more special when she saw the cover.  

The remarkable Taylor Swift who touches throngs of lives - old and young and internationally?

The cat who calmly drapes around Swift's neck and stares dead ahead at the camera with ears perked?

Or - and this is actually Ciwt's choice - the photographer who captured this cover?  With all her years in front of cameras, Swift is probably fairly easy to get an excellent photo of.  But anyone who has ever tried to take an alert, eyes wide open, ears up, relaxed portrait of their cat knows that camera person is very special indeed.

Friday, December 8, 2023

What's the Opposite of Zen-like? --- Day 12/335

Walk: Asian Art Museum, SFMOMA

Distance: 5.5 miles

Asian Art Museum visitor(?) enjoying Chestnuts
Ciwt read that our Asian Art Museum had transformed one of its galleries into a low-lit, hushed, contemplative, winding path of shoju walls for its The Heart of Zen exhibition. So a peaceful contemplative experience like the one pictured above is what she had in mind when she went reserved her timed ticket for it.

“Persimmons” (left, detail) and “Chestnuts” (detail) — composed of ink on hanging scrolls and attributed to the 13th-century Chinese monk Muqi

She would be going to see two rare Zen ink paintings, Persimmons and Chestnuts at a very rare event indeedThe delicate, light-sensitive paintings were on their first ever and very brief trips out of Japan and would only be shown together for three days.  

They had been acquired in China by a Japanese merchant in the 15th or 16th century, brought to Japan and displayed regularly at tea gatherings before being donated in the 1600s to Daitokuji Ryokoin temple. The temple is closed to the public, and aside from a 2019 exhibition at the Miho Museum outside Kyoto, both paintings remain out of view for those not members of the temple community.  

The wish and rationale of the abbot of the Temple in releasing Persimons and Chestnuts to San Francisco was to share "even a fragment of the pure, transparent (Zen) air that..the monks in Ryokoin" live right in the center of from morning to night."

The precious event had been brought to people's attention in various journals around the Bay Area, and Ciwt later learned the New York Times and who knows what other media.  So, when Ciwt arrived to contemplate with her member-only timed ticket, so had several - read at least 600 - others:
It took one hour to get here from outside the museum, and would take another 90 minutes to reach the 'low-lit, contemplative...' gallery where the small paintings were hung.  

As the time in the lines went on and on, Ciwt became less and less zen-like, decided her peaceful experience didn't have a chance of happening even after she got to the gallery.  So she dropped out and went outside into the clear, fresh, nippy air of San Francisco and enjoyed a nice long walk.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Boxes, We Got Boxes --- Days 12/333 & 334

Walks: UPS, FedEx, Errands

Distances: 3 miles, just 1 mile

So no, these aren't boxes and boxes of Christmas presents Ciwt has received.

Several months ago she decided to get a few new things to make her new (still to her) place feel more homey.  And of course they are all being delivered now, right in the midst of the holiday package season.  Actually, some boxes actually aren't delivered at all (to her anyway) because they are lost in transit and others have been misdelivered in the wrong color, wrong size, or whatever.

So suddenly Ciwt has become a sort of Santa's helper.  Unboxing, deconstructing boxes, re-boxing, standing in various lines with boxes among others with theirs.  The very good news is that her new home has an elevator, not the 73 stairs up and 73 stairs down at her old place. Also, most of her new things are here so she should have more interesting things to tell her loyal readers.

Hope your December is coming along and you are finding ways to relax and enjoy.  Love, Ciwt

Monday, December 4, 2023

Festivity Deliveries Begin --- Days 12/331 & 332

Walks/Runs: Hood errands

Distances: 3.5 miles, 4.8 miles

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Running Again --- Day 13/330

Jog: Opera Plaza Cinema, etc

Distance: 5 miles

So, Ciwt found herself running home again today. Parly because there was unexpected light rain and partly because the movie she went back to the same theater to see was agitating.  Happy, informative beginning, downer ending.  Not a good order.  But if you weren't around New York during the 60's and 70's, it might be good to get informed or be reminded about The Hite Report and its aftermath.  

Friday, December 1, 2023

Running Home --- Day 12/329

Walk/Run: Opera Plaza Cinema (Maestro)

Distance: 3.5 miles

Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper in Maestro

So Ciwt is sitting here thinking she is glad she isn't a film critic.  If she were, her professionalism would insist that she spend time analyzing Maestro looking for its good points and flaws so she could properly inform her readers.

But since she is not, she can savor the movie wholecloth.  For her it was perfect as is.  A superior fine art statement propelled from beginning to end by full blown, passionate and beautiful energy.  Both - passion and beauty - in all their forms: good, enchanting, heartfilled, heart breaking, kind, cruel.  And, above all, Musical.

Ciwt was so caught up in that life energy that she found herself running all the way home when it was over.

Bradley Cooper comes as close as possible to recreating the vortex of enigmatic, near manic, driven life force that was the musical genius Leonard Bernstein.  Carey Mulligan is brilliant as his light as air, bone deep sensitive, supremely disciplined actress wife Felicia Montealegre.  And Maestro opens its  and the audience's heart to the wildly complex, tumultuous, and deeply loving marriage they created for 27 years.

It is inconceivable to Ciwt that Cooper and his movie won't be nominated for multiple awards: Best Actor, Director, Original Screenplay, Musical Score, Cinematography, Make Up, Costumes and maybe more.  It isn't a category, but he and/or his casting agent deserve an award for once again placing a first class talent in the role of his female co-star.  Carey Mulligan is every bit as excellent as Lady Gaga who won an Oscar nomination and Oscar for her role in Cooper's A Star is Born.  

Now having caught her breath from that run home, Ciwt is off to read what the professional film critics have to say about Maestro.  Maybe/Probably it was too arty for some; not Ciwt.