Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Storm Activity --- Days 13/53 & 54

Walks: Hood, Union Square

Distances: 4 miles, 4. miles

No a storm hasn't blown through Ciwt's place, but one is on its way into the Bay Area.  The weather service is telling people in Tahoe it will be dangerous to even go outside their doors and it is going to be pretty ferocious around here for the next three or four days. So Ciwt has decided this is the time for the long delayed project of tackling absolutely everything in her clothes closet.  Maybe even tame - or come to grips with - all her city black.

As you can see above, the project has begun; so it is getting dangerous to even walk around inside her place.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Perfect Acting --- Day 13/52

 Walk: AMC Kabuki (Perfect Days)

Distance: 2.8 miles

So Ciwt went to see Japan's Oscar nominated Foreign Language film, Perfect Days, and it is truly lovely.  The acting by long time movie star Koji Yakusho is astoundingly perfect and a/the reason in and of itself to see it yourselves.  Ciwt leaves the overall evaluation up to you.  So far the critics and larger audience have been enraptured and given it very top ratings.  On the one hand , Ciwt agrees, but on the other ....never mind, you can decide; it just isn't perfect.  In any event Perfect Days is well worth your time in the theater.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

From No Place to Showplace --- Day 13/51

Walk: Hood

Distance: 5.6 miles

So a young designer friend asked Ciwt if she could use her place for a photo shoot.  Ciwt of course said "Sure" but was thinking "Wha??"   Here Ciwt is hemming and hawing about whether she can embrace it as home and others are full speed ahead on it being a great place for Ciwt - and for a photo shoot.

She arrived today - with an assistant, zillion dollar camera and props galore.  And they proceeded to ransack the rooms while also exclaiming  "What perfect light!," "The view is wonderful!," "Great shot!"

And after they put everything back together again, Ciwt had to admit her place felt a lot more like her real home.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Swan Song --- Days 13/49 & 50

Walks: Day of Rest; SF Ballet

Distances: Not even 1/2 mile; 5.5 miles

So, it isn't quite at the level of Madame Butterfly which brings Ciwt to tears every time she sees it, but  the ending of Swan Lake is still pretty devastating.  Certainly as danced and staged by our world class San Francisco Ballet.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

So Green, So Young --- Day 13/48

Walk: Hood
Distance: 5.5 miles

Here is the After the Ball section of the de Young Museum's current exhibition
of San Franciso couture over the years*.  All were worn by local philanthropists and fashionistas or carefully preserved unworn by couture department stores. Which ones jump immediately to your eye?

Edwin Oudshoorn (Dutch, b. 1980 dba Edwin Oudshoorn, est. 2005),
Spellbound Gown with Detached Sleeves and Pin , 2020, 

Ciwt is green girl so her eye went to - or was Spellbound by - the rich warm green one.  It is timelessly lavish but, even so, Ciwt was surprised to learn it was created by the youngest designer in the show, Edwin Oudshoorn, a Dutchman. 

* Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style, deYoung Museum, January 20 - August 11, 2024

  Also see CIWT Days 13/10 through 13/14

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Turn Key Life --- Days 13/46 & 47

Walks: Not far, wind and rain

Distances: 2.2 miles

So Ciwt is slowlywarming up the advantages of a 'turn key' life.  Still kind of a creepy phrase.

Monday, February 19, 2024

What We Learn at Work.... --- Day 13/45

Walk: No, Presidents Day Storm so 'storming' through home stuff instead

Distance: n/a.  Mostly up and down from trash room and fingers exercised on computer

So of all the jobs in Ciwt's checkered work life, one of the most useful turns out to be the part time one at a housewares boutique.  Tuesdays were recycling day, so she spent much of Monday out on the sidewalk in front of the store deconstructing boxes (and trying not to injure herself) with her retractable blade utensil. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Winter Moments --- Days 13/42 to 44

Walks: SFMOMA, Inside for Storm, Hood

Distances: 7 miles, day of rest, 4.5 miles

Claude Monet, The Magpie, 1868, oil on canvas

So Ciwt is partial to Monet's art before he became MONET, the Father of Impressionism.  Early Monet as they say.  When he was struggling singlemindedly to - literally - invent ways of painting what he saw before him and loved.  Struggling to develop his art while struggling to survive and support his girlfriend (not yet his wife) and baby son.  His father refused to support his work or family - probably to pressure him to become a businessman - and patrons were exceeding few.

One of these patrons helped arrange a house in Etretat where Monet could shelter his family and paint in relative comfort.  From the year he moved in Northern France was blanketed by snow in an ongoing series of winter storms.  The invention of the collapsible metal paint tube and portable easel had brought opportunities to move out of the studio into plain air, and Monet had been one of the first to embrace this freedom.  So in those impossibly severe winters, Monet invented methods to (barely) stay alive outdoors - and to truly capture - for the first time - snow.

Not just any flat, cold white-with-grey shadows snow but violet, blue, pink, yellow snow often applied with short choppy brush strokes.  Snow that captured the vibrating quality of light.  And winter scenes that capture some deep truths of that season: the solitude, the quiet delicacy, the fleeing, changeable moments. The sense of snow.

And in one of those early years, he produced a simple, quiet painting that almost brings tears to Ciwt's every time she sees it.  The Magpie.  Ciwt is not alone; The Magpie is one of the most popular paintings in the Musee d'Orsay's collection.

PS - It was rejected by the Paris Salon of 1869.  Jurors dismissed it for reasons such as 'too common, too coarse,' too experimental with colors and too radically different from the accepted academic style. No wonder a few years later, that young group of Impressionists finally rebelled!

Claude Monet, A Cart on the Snowy Road to Honfleur, 1865 or 1867, 

The painting above was Monet's first snowscape during those winters.  And below was his largest.

Claude Monet, Snow at Argenteuil, 1865, oil on canvas

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Riding the Rails SF Style --- Days 40 & 41

Walks: 1. Hood    2. Rockridge, Oakland

Distances: 4 miles average

So here are a couple of Ciwt's co-riders on BART today.  They had a boom box with music to accompany their break dancing.  Ciwt was all eyes and clapping.  But she's only taken BART a couple of times.  The rest of riders never looked up from their cell phones or whatever they were doing so they must be regulars and used to the things that happen as they ride.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Home? --- Days 13/33 to 39

Walks: Hood mostly

Distances: Average 3 miles (loping)

So, where has Ciwt been for 6! days?  Good question.  Researching on line for things to make her new home look more like her.  That consists of doing the searches mostly on line, then if she finds something, saving the information, printing out a picture, walking around her place with it, and maybe pressing the "Buy' button and hoping.  It is intense and amazingly exhausting and consuming for something you do just sitting around.

It is almost two years since her decision to move into a 'age appropriate' place with a garage and without 73 steps up and down to it.  And she was very fortunate to find a very nice condominium in her 41 year zip code.  So she has been able to keep all her old shopping and walking patterns.  And the view is bigger but essentially the same as her old one.

She's in the 'final touches' stage of decorating as well as having gotten totally rid of furniture she no longer has use for.  (A huge project: disposing of old furniture and furnishings).  So when she looks around her new place she's feeling some pride in jobs well done - appropriately relocating and furnishing, as well as becoming a good 'new community' member/neighbor.  

But when will it feel like home?  It looks nice but it doesn't feel like home - not deeply.  Maybe places don't for many of us of a certain age.  Or don't in the same nesty way we are used to.  It's confusing.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Come on!? --- Day 13/32

Walk: Not yet; cold and light rain

Distance: tbd

© Tzahi Finkelstein / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

How do photographers capture these instantaneous, once in a life time moments?  In this award winning photo a Balkan pond turtle shares a moment with a northern banded groundling dragonfly in Israel's Jezreel Valley.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

One Way to Hibernate --- Day 13/31

Walk: Hood

Distance: 4 miles

© Nima Sarikhani / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Is this dear or what?  It is time for the Atlantic Magazine's Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023 Award, and the photo above is the People's Choice Winner.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Day After the 'Bomb Cyclone' --- Day 13/30

Walk:  Yes finally after bug and storm hiatus

Distance: 3 miles

Poor little park next door today - after losing 12 big trees in last winter's storms.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Making a Dent --- Days 13/27, 28 & 29

Walks: No, None

Distances: 000

So Ciwt has been felled by one (or a stew) of the many bugs sailing around windy San Francisco.

Probably a good time to make a small dent in the many books piled around her place.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Other Football Half --- Days 13/25 & 26

Walks: No, felled by cold/allergies/sinus (?)

Distances: n/a

So during her little home stay so she recovers from one of those 'stew of everything' maladies these days, Ciwt  happened to read the present cost of a suite to watch the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas.  Are you ready? (she wasn't): $2.5 million.