mojosmom: (cat)
or I should buy a lottery ticket.

Last week, if you recall, I sat around on Saturday morning waiting for a cable guy who never came. Rescheduled for yesterday afternoon "between 1:00 and 4:00". Around 11:00 a.m., shortly after I came in from running a few errands, I get a call: "Is it okay if we come early? Like in about 10 minutes?" Indeed it was okay, and the guy arrived and had my issue resolved in about two minutes.

Which gave me time to take my cell phone to the closest repair center (which isn't close at all, but that's something else again), as I've been having a problem retrieving voice mails, dealing with menus, etc. This problem was fixed in less time than it took me to describe it to the guy.

On top of which, it was my turn to do weekend bond court. These are heavier calls than the daily bond courts, as those are twice a day, and anyone picked up for failure to appear (as opposed to a new charge) goes to the assigned court rather than the bond court. But weekend bond court gets everybody. And both yesterday and today, the calls were pretty light, the judge was pretty fast, there was nothing very complex, and we were done both days in under an hour.

And I'm going to a picnic this afternoon, and though it's hot, there is no rain in the forecast. ;-))
mojosmom: (CHB)
Mostly because I had what I knew would be a long-ish dental appointment in the morning. So I decided to also take my car in for maintenance, visit the Green City Market, and just generally hack around. The weather certainly cooperated; it was glorious.

I dropped the car off first thing, and then got a bus to the dentist. There, I had a cleaning, X-rays, and a stern lecture from the hygienist about coming in more regularly. I was not allowed to leave without scheduling my next appointment! Also had a chat with my dentist about Venice, as I hadn't seen her since I'd been back.

It was my first visit to the Green City Market this year. They had garlic scapes, which I love, so I bought a bunch. Also asparagus, green tomatoes, good bread, a couple of ribeye steaks from Heartland Meat, and a bunch of heirloom sweet peas with the most beautiful aroma. I had a ribeye with mushrooms and garlic scapes, and asparagus, for dinner tonight. Yum.

After picking up the car, I came home to a bit of excitement. One of the little boys who lives across the hall from me had told his mother that he smelled smoke. So everyone was going around sniffing, and the fire department was called. Fortunately, nothing was on fire, and we think that, as we had the hallways painted the day before, he might have been smelling that. Anyway, better safe than sorry!

After some errands, I lazed about, reading a book on the back porch, paying bills, etc. Then I went out to the Chicago Hand Bookbinders meeting, which was at the Adler Planetarium. Taking advantage of the weather, I decided to bring my camera, go early, and wander about the Museum Campus taking pictures. Saw a bunch of cute bunnies, and a predator or two.

As they did with cows and furniture in past years, the city is doing a public art project, this year with globes. But these are political - all about global warming. There are a lot on the museum campus, and they go all along the downtown lakefront. I took a bunch of pictures of these Cool Globes, as the project is called, and expect I'll take more as the summer progresses.

The meeting was grand. Nothing better than looking at old books, old prints and old astronomical instruments. We saw an ephemeris by Maria Cunitia, bound with scrap vellum from a music manuscript, a fifteenth-century astronomical/astrological manuscript with volvelles, a telescope dating from shortly after the invention of telescopes, a very interesting book in which someone re-invented the constellations as biblical and Christian religious personages (which, obviously, never caught on!), and a set of prints juxtaposing the Newtonian view of the universe with the scriptural (or at least scriptural as viewed by the Muggletonian sect). Digression: And a very interesting sect they were, too! While preaching toleration, they themselves were persecuted as dissenters, being anti-Trinitarians. A private gathering at a local inn or tavern with a reading or two from the Bible, and the singing of the "Divine Songs" to traditional tunes over a few beers would be considered a "service", says this source. My kind of church! ;-))

There was a concert at Northerly Island, which messed up the bus routes, so I wound up taking the train home, with Eugenie and a new member who also lives in Hyde Park. (If CHB isn't careful, we'll have a south side branch. ) Eugenie is a most interesting person. It seems we caught our train at the same station at which she and her husband first arrived in Chicago as refugees from Nazi Germany. So she began to reminisce about how they had arrived here in February, having been first in New Orleans, and how they walked, dressed for NOLA, in a Chicago winter, to the station where they had to catch another train. It's a wonder they stayed here! And I can listen to her stories of Chicago bookbinding history forever.
mojosmom: (busy bee)
Long as in four days, as I took Monday and Tuesday off from work. Much of the time was spent vegging, reading, watching last season's Project Runway on video, and doing odds and ends around the house.

Saturday, though, I went to the Harold Washington Library Center (our main public library) for a tour of the Special Collections conservation lab. On the way out, I naturally stopped in at the Popular Library and checked out a few books (all light reading - Margaret Maron, Rita Mae Brown, Donna Leon).

Sunday was the Newberry Consort benefit, Playford's Delight Redux, at which we learned some English country dances to the music of the Consort, as well as having good food and drink. It was in the afternoon, so I got home at a reasonable hour and put my feet up.

I was meeting friends for dinner and the theatre on Monday, but I went downtown early to do a bit of Christmas shopping at the Christkindlmarket. I found some lovely bird ornaments that I'm going to give to the folks in my dinner group. The play we saw was Frank's Home, about Frank Lloyd Wright. It is set in California, at a low point in his career and his family relationships (something he wasn't very good at!), just as word of the Tokyo earthquake arrives along with the news (erroneous) that his Imperial Hotel was destroyed. It was an interesting play, and very well acted.

Yesterday, I went through closets and drawers and took a bunch of clothes and tchotchkes to the Brown Elephant for donation. When I spindled my receipt, I noticed that the last person to donate was my Italian instructor!! I must have just missed her. As usual, I could not simply leave my donation and go. Oh, no, one must always check the racks. Neither of the brown suede skirts I tried on fit (one too big, one too small!), but I found a great blazer in a brown tweed, and a gorgeous jacket, perfect for holiday parties. Red silky material with a black design embroidered in it, sort of a Chinese-style, long (over the hips), with sparkly beads on the black frog closures. $10. Yay, me!

I wore it to the Chicago Hand Bookbinders party last night. Eileen had found an excellent caterer; I especially liked these little sweet cheese tarts with shaved dark and white chocolate on top. Bill D. gave me the name and contact info for his friend in Venice who does paper marbling. Also the link to his website: AlbertoValese-Ebru. Is this not beautiful stuff?
mojosmom: (CHB)
I went to the opening reception of the "One Book, Many Interpretations" show at the Special Collections Division at the Harold Washington Library Center this evening. Honey, let me tell you, they were pouring wine like it was water. "Um, I don't really need the whole bottle in that plastic cup", but the bartender kept on pouring. At least they had some really good food to cushion the tummy.

The show, which was the whole point of the evening, is absolutely incredible. I've mentioned this show before, but for those who've missed it, the Chicago Public Library invited bookbinders to bind copies of the books that have been chosen for the One Book, One Chicago program. The best of these are part of the show. Technically, all the books were awesome. I did feel that a few were not particularly inspired creatively, and some just didn't speak to me personally. But the overall quality was amazing. Even more amazing was that Lesa (the Exhibit Curator) was able to put this show together in just over a year.

Here's the book I submitted that didn't get accepted: The Coast of Chicago, by Stuart Dybek

There's a small catalogue, too.

Some of us were joking that we came for the people, not the books (there were a lot of CHB people there), but the truth is that, at any opening, you probably spend more time socializing than looking at the art. I'll definitely be going back.

Speaking of socializing, I told Bill D. that I was hoping to go to Venice in February, and that my sister had sent me lots of books, and he said he had lots of books, too, and, by the way, he has a friend there who's a paper marbler and has a shop and is a "sweet guy". I am going to have such a list! I love it.

And met a friend of Barb M's who is a photographer and who has a show opening Friday at the Fine Arts Building. There's an opening at the Center for Book and Paper Arts that evening as well, just a few blocks away, so I think I'll try to do both.

Then I came home, and one of my temporary crowns came off. I called my dentist's office, fully expecting nothing, but their voicemail gave her home #, so I called her and she said, basically, "you can just snap it back in with a bit of toothpaste and then come in on Monday to have it re-cemented and in the meantime, don't floss and don't eat on that side", so "snap" I did. Hope it lasts the weekend! (Did you ever think you'd hear a dentist say, "Don't floss"?)
mojosmom: (CHB)
First day of the Letterpress Intensive, and I think I'm going to like this. But after three tries at setting a mere two lines of type without error, I have a great deal more sympathy for typos, at least in hand-set press. (People who use computers, etc., have no excuse.) We are going to do a class project, each of us choosing a quotation that has meaning for us (I'm going to use my favorite quotation over there on the side). I am talking to the instructor about printing a story of my great-aunt's. She told us some tall tales when we were kids, and a few years ago we found that she had written them out. Ever since, I've been thinking of doing a book with them for my sisters, but I wasn't sure how I'd do the text. It will probably be too much to set all of them, so I'm thinking, if Stacey (my instructor, not my sister of the same name) thinks it will work, to set one of them as a broadside. And maybe a Xerox transfer image of my great-aunt on the page. I have some luscious Italian paper that my younger sister bought me a few years ago and that I have been saving for something special. This may be it. We'll see.

Last night, the Chicago Hand Bookbinders meeting was at the Special Collections of the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library. I love these meetings at Special Collections departments. The librarians love showing off their good stuff to an appreciative audience, and often (as was the case yesterday) we can actually touch and hold these wonderful books. The selection ranged from medieval manuscripts through 19th-century fine bindings up to contemporary artists' books. I got to hold a Kelmscott edition of the Poems of William Shakespeare and there were a couple of marvelous pop-up books - Carol Barton's Instructions for Assembly and Sjoerd Hofstra's Elements of Geometry by Euclid were the best. I marveled as always at how illuminated manuscripts from the 15th-century still retain their vivid and luminous colors, the gold still raised and shiny, the blue as brilliant as the day the lapis was ground. But my absolute favorite offering was a copy of the Brut Chronicle, dating to 1445, and still tightly sewn to its boards. The flyleaves were filled with "doodles", such as stick figure drawings and musical notations, and it appeared that the same bit of text was copied in different hands. Very intriguing!

We had a couple of new members last night, and I think they enjoyed their introduction to CHB!


Yet another book journaled (and on its way to GreedyReader just as soon as I get to the P.O.)!

#41
Heloise & Abelard: a Twelfth-Century Love Story
mojosmom: (Steinlen cats)
Went to the Post Office yesterday to mail off a couple of things. I sent Stacey Island Possessed, as I knew almost as soon as I started it that she'd want to read it, with her interest in vodou. I also sent her back her skirt. A while back, I was looking for something in the closet of my spare room, and came across a very nice black skirt that I couldn't remember at all. It looked like the sort of thing I'd buy, but I had absolutely no recollection of it! It turned out she'd left it here over Christmas. So I had to give it back.

I went downtown to meet Nina Z. and Nina G. We had lunch at Russian Tea Time. I haven't been there in ages, not since the Goodman Theatre moved, and I think I mentioned in an earlier journal entry that I'd thought about having lunch there on Memorial Day, but they were closed. I had Ukrainian borscht (potatoes, onions and other veggies in addition to beets), and a dumpling platter (consisting of potato vareniky and ground beef pelmeni. Nina Z. had duck strudel (she offered me a sample and it was excellent!) and Nina G. had vegetarian stuffed eggplant. We were all good and skipped dessert. It was rather cool for June (60-ish), so it was a good day to go there.

From there, we went on to the library at the School of the Art Institute, which was the purpose of the trip, as the Ninas wanted to see the Chicago Hand Bookbinders show. After which, they left to head back to the suburbs and I went to the Tourism Center at the Cultural Center to pick up literature.

I had a bit of a headache when I got home, so I decided to take a nap. I curled up in bed, and the cats curled up with me. Suddenly, they were on high alert! Marissa dashed from the bed to the radiator cover (which is right by the window) and hunkered down, tail slashing from side to side, staring at something outside. Lilith stayed on the bed, but was alerted in the same direction. It seems that some pigeons had the friggin' nerve to be hanging around on the neighbor's window sill! Oh, did Marissa want to get them! Once that was settled, I started to drift off again, only to be awakened by a muffled crash. I got up to discover that Lilith had decided to chew on the peonies that were in a vase on my hall table, and in the process had knocked it over. Fortunately, the vase didn't break and I only had to deal with cleaning up the water and setting everything to rights again.

At that point, I gave up on the nap.

Today was a bit cool for hanging around outside, so I skipped Blues Fest and went up to the Gerber-Hart Library for their quarterly book sale. The prices aren't great, so I only picked up a half-dozen books.

Came home and did some paper marbling for the book I'm entering in the "One Book, Many Interpretations" show. I also tried marbling a piece of silk book cloth that I'd made. It didn't come out very well, but I'm going to try a second color on top and see what happens.

Watched Withnail and I, a delightfully odd English movie set in 1969, about two unemployed actors who escape their squalid flat (where the dishes haven't been done in so long that they are afraid to go into the kitchen) and go off to a country cottage owned by Withnail's Uncle Monty. They are confronted with pouring rain, hostile locals and no food or fuel. In a scene that reminded me of a recent post of [livejournal.com profile] eireannaigh, they are offered a chicken by a farmer -- but it arrives alive and they have to kill it! Then Uncle shows up and takes a fancy to "I", at which point it turns into a bit of a French drawing-room farce, if you can picture that in an English country cottage. Most enjoyable.

Butternut squash ravioli for dinner and am now doing my weekly load of dishes in the dishwasher. Work and dentist appointment tomorrow. :-(
mojosmom: (Italian)
Just back from dinner at Franco & Gianni's - last Italian "class" of this session ("class" is in quotation marks because we didn't actually do any work). Lovely food, lovely evening sitting on their roof deck admiring the views of the city, lovely conversation. Most of our class, plus Giuseppe from another class and his partner. Daniella brought a Parmegianno-Reggiano from Italy. Lots of other cheeses. Wine. Prosciutto. Melon. Good breads. Chocolate. I'm stuffed.

Yesterday was Printers Row Book Fair. Yes, I bought books, what did you think? I spent a couple of hours at the Chicago Hand Bookbinders table. I brought some of my books to show, as did Becky. Lots of people stopped and asked questions, so we may have picked up a couple of new members. It was an absolutely perfect day, weather-wise. Sunny and warm, but with a nice lake breeze. It could be like that all year and I'd be happy.
mojosmom: (CHB)
The Chicago Hand Bookbinders meeting was at the Harold Washington Library, Special Collections, this evening. We were shown a variety of examples from their holdings. They're strong in Chicago theatre, and Civil War materials, as well as neighborhood history. They'd just gotten in some working scripts from Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; it made me sad to see them.

Then we adjourned to the conservation lab, which Lesa is in the process of improving. She did a tooling demo.

She said that they are getting a tremendous response to the One Book, Many Interpretations call for entries (See this journal entry). I told her to assign me whatever book she needed done. I rightly guessed that To Kill a Mockingbird was at the top of most of the lists.

I came home to find a box from Bookcloseouts.com. Two pop-ups, two Dorothy L. Sayers books that have been on my Wish List, and two books about books. A nice haul.

The weekend

Feb. 5th, 2006 10:36 pm
mojosmom: (CHB)
Rigoletto at Lyric on Friday. A much better production than the one a few years ago, and uniformly excellent voices: Dina Kuznetsova as Gilda, the always reliable Frank Lopardo as the Duke, and Carlos Álvarez doing a splendid job as Rigoletto. Dinner beforehand at Lloyd's, which seems to have improved since its move down the street. Jim-less, as he was at an ABA meeting in Puerto Rico. Next week it will be just me and Jamie, as Beth and Duncan have changed their tickets, and Jim and Kevin will be in New Zealand.

Saturday was the board meeting of the IACDL (Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers). A good meeting. Finances are on track, deadwood has been removed from the board and some fresh blood brought in. It was downtown, so afterwards I wandered off to the library. Beforehand, I had tried to release a book at my bank's ATM, only to find that the bank had moved! (This is the main office; I rarely go there, which is why I didn't know.) I went to the new location a couple of blocks away, but for some reason my card wouldn't work in the reader and I couldn't get in. Bummer. Excellent example of why doing release notes ahead of time is not always a good idea. In the afternoon, I went to one of my favorite thrift shops to drop some stuff off, and came away with a nice pair of butterscotch-colored ultrasuede boots, and a stack of books.

An email came from Karen H. , the exhibits chair of Chicago Hand Bookbinders. She has put the current exhibit online, and you can see it here. Here's mine:

chb2006
mojosmom: (CHB)
I suddenly realized that I had better get myself over to the Smart Museum if I wanted to see the Shijô Surimono exhibit before it closes next weekend! So I did, and it was beautiful. I do wish they'd translated the poetry, though, instead of just giving a précis. There's no catalog, either, but I did discover a brief, illustrated article on the show in the University of Chicago magazine.


When I came home, I sat down and figured out what I'm going to do for the Chicago Hand Bookbinders' show. I have unbound proof sheets of the Modern Library edition of A. Edward Newton's Amenities of Book-Collecting, nicely fitting the theme of "Books on Books". I'm going to do a traditional case-binding, using for the cover paper some paper I have with images of old leather-bound books on a bookshelf. I have a complementary marbled paper for endsheets. The spine will be a plain, medium-brown bookcloth that goes well with both papers. (I have to admit that I was tempted to buy a bunch of old books of varying sizes, and then glue them one on top of the other -- books on books.)
mojosmom: (Default)
Okay, I've decided that when I read a book journalled on BC, I'll just link to the entries there, rather than put the whole megillah here.

#88
A Funny Time to Be Gay, Ed Karvoski, Jr. (Ed.)

Other stuff

I ate too much at the CHB picnic. I brought a nice, sensible marinated chicken breast to grill. But couldn't pass up the pasta salad, a nice rice salad, chips and salsa, etc. Not to mention several excellent desserts. I went easy on the liquor, however; I did not partake of the mojitas. I did not, however, exercise self-control when we did the swap. I gave away all the paper, fabric, headband silk, and glitter glue pens I broughht. But came away with lots more paper, a couple of brushes, a paper knife, not to mention a couple of lovely dishes! B. had a bunch of old-fashioned china of her mother's and aunt's that she was giving away! So I now have a nice Depression glass cake plate, and two English china dessert plates in an Oriental blue-and-white pattern with a touch of color. It was a very nice picnic; a good number of people showed, and the weather was perfect. B.'s garden, as usual, was lovely. We did have to contend with the tail end of the Air & Water Show noise, but it wasn't too bad, and ended around 4:00.

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