mojosmom: (Default)
I'm meeting a friend for lunch (it's Chicago Restaurant Week, hurrah!), and this evening I'm going to the Lyric Opera's event announcing the coming season. My original plan was to take public transportation to both. Then I woke to the weather report which said that we'll be in the 50s today, but it will drop to the 20s this evening, and decided I'd take the bus and el to lunch and drive tonight (found a cheap - for downtown - spot - $10! Yay for SpotHero!). But now it's pouring. And I really don't want to stand at the bus stop, walk to the el, and then walk a few more blocks to the restaurant in torrential rain. So I think I'll drive and valet my car.
mojosmom: (Default)
Our "mild" winter has disappeared with a vengeance, now that spring is just a few weeks away. We got about 10" of snow yesterday (yes, New Englanders, I know that's nothing compared to what you've been dealing with!). It started in the early morning and just kept snowing into the night. Both things I had planned for yesterday were cancelled by mutual agreement, as was an event for this morning. I did go out in the morning before things got really bad, just to pick up some produce, but other than that I stayed inside, warm and dry.

What was cancelled (well, postponed, really) today was some additional training for Robie House tours. There's a young adult book by Blue Balliett, The Wright 3, which involves mysterious goings on at Robie House, and the Trust does a special tour for kids based on the book. I'm going to do the training to give that tour as well as the regular one. I've given a couple of the regular tours already, and I am really enjoying it. One of the perks of doing this is that there is a lot of additional education available, seminars and lectures, etc.

We had one bad day last week, too, but not bad enough to stop me from going to the Art Institute for a talk about chocolate and the Mayan culture, accompanied by a couple of kinds of hot chocolate, finger sandwiches and cookies. Yum!

I tried to accomplish some stuff on Monday, but was stymied. My hair is growing out, so I decided to treat myself to some shampoo from The Body Shop. But when I got there, I discovered they're closed for renovations and won't re-open until next month! Then I went to the bank to transfer some funds for the deposit on housing for my trip to France, and they needed one bit of info I didn't have. So I couldn't do that, either. (I have the info now and will go back tomorrow.) I then went up to Gilda's Club, contending with the alternate transit routes, as the Brown Line train, which I usually take to and from downtown to the club, couldn't cross the river as the bridge is out for repairs. The CTA, however, had free shuttle buses running so it worked out, though on the way to the bus coming back, I was forced to walk past the Anti-Cruelty Society's windows and admire the kitties up for adoption.

Also for the France trip, I've decided to get some tutoring to brush up my French, which I haven't used to any extent in about 30 years! Ack! I start next week. I have a feeling that I'll be mixing up French and Italian.

Over the last couple of weeks, since my last post, there have been a lot of interesting cultural events. A big Picasso show just opened at the Art Institute, and I went to a lecture about that. Two days later, I was back at the AIOC for a curator's talk with Kara Walker, whose installation, Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!, also just opened.

In between, I went to hear Garry Wills talk about his latest book, Why Priests?, over at Seminary Co-op.

And opera! I got to go to a dress rehearsal for Lyric's production of Rigoletto, which I'm seeing tomorrow. (Fabulous soprano, not so fabulous tenor.) Also went to Die Meistersinger on Sunday, which was all around excellent. It's Wagner's bicentennial year, so the Symphony did a program of the prelude and Act II of Tristan und Isolde. Chicago Opera Theater just did a production of Philip Glass' The House of Usher, which I liked a lot. The director gave it a homoerotic slant that served the production well. In the midst of all this, it was time to renew Lyric and CSO for next year! Time does fly.

My older sister has gotten involved in a new art gallery in Cleveland, which will have its grand opening the first weekend in April, so I'm thinking of driving out for a few days for that.

It's a rather odd coincidence, but before the Pope announced his retirement, I had been reading a couple of papal-related books. Two were books on the Borgias, and it's been interesting to see how journalists doing their obligatory potted histories of the papacy have been uncritically repeating all the old unsubstantiated gossip. I also read the extremely odd Hadrian the Seventh, about a failed priest who is unexpectedly elected Pope, by the extremely odd Frederick William Rolfe (he liked to abbreviate his name as "Fr. Rolfe", so that people would think he was a priest, but, according to one book blurb, "his vices were considered spectacular, even in Venice, where he died.").

The Latke-Hamentashen debate finally happened. It's usually the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but there was a brouhaha at Hillel, which had always sponsored the debate in the past. The Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, took it over, so it was delayed until mid-February, close to Purim. That, however, did not help the hamentashen; as always, latkes won the popularity contest!

Y'know, if I updated more often, these posts wouldn't be so long.

Zuppe!

Feb. 18th, 2013 07:48 pm
mojosmom: (Food)
As a couple of people have expressed an interest, here are the recipes for two of the soups mentioned in my previous post. These are translated from the Italian, and the measurements converted. The great thing about soups, of course, is that your measurements don't have to be exact.

CUCCÌA

4 etti* (about 14 ounces) of wheatberries
3 etti (about 10.5 ounces) of corn kernels
3 etti (about 10.5 ounces) of chickpeas
an onion
grated pecorino cheese
extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper

Soak wheatberries and chickpeas in cold water overnight.
In a saucepan, saute the onion in olive oil. Add - after draining and washed - wheat, corn and chickpea; pour two liters (about 8 ½ cups) of water, salt and cook, with the pan covered and at low heat for at least three hours.

When the beans are tender add salt and pepper, remove the soup from the heat and serve hot with grated cheese separately.

Serves six.

* an etto is a unit of measure that, as far as I know, is used only in Italy.


PANISSE

One kilo (slightly over 2 pounds) of pumpkin
half a kilo (slightly over 1 pound) of potatoes
two leeks
half an apple
2 tablespoons of wheat flour
a pound of Formaggio di Montagna (can use Asiago) grated
extra virgin olive oil, salt

In a saucepan, heat three tablespoons of olive oil and pour the leeks thinly sliced​​. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat with the apple slices.

Add the pumpkin and potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes and cook over moderate heat, covered, for one hour.

After this, remove from heat and pass through a sieve. Put on the heat and add the flour a little at a time, stirring continuously as for a polenta. You should get a thick cream, not too dry.

Season with salt and cook for a few minutes, then serve with grated cheese.


Serves four.
mojosmom: (Food)
My Italian teacher's cousin, who is the president of Slow Foods-Bretagne, is in town, and this afternoon she gave a short talk about the Slow Food movement, and fed us soup. Three kinds, one from the north of Italy, one from the south, and one from the central part. The northern one was panisse, a pumpkin soup, with potato and apple and leek; the southern one was cuccìa, of chickpeas, corn and wheatberries, and the last was ginestrata, a Renaissance-era soup of broth with Marsala, egg yolk, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. It was a good day for it, too, because it was rainy and a bit chilly - perfect soup weather.

Saw Motherf***er with the Hat again, because Teatro Vista did an event for potential donors. Reception beforehand, then the play, then drinks afterwards with some of the cast members, including Jimmy Smits, who seems like a really nice guy.

I also saw Teddy Ferrara at the Goodman, a play by Christopher Shinn loosely based on the Tyler Clementi case at Rutgers. Thankfully, it was very nuanced. A lot of the cast was young and not very experienced, and it showed, and the part of the university president wasn't terribly credible - he seemed awfully clueless for someone who had been a U.S. Senator and was now running a major university. It was worth seeing, but could use some work.

My practice tour at Robie House was successful, and I am now certified and will give my first public tour later this week. Wish me luck!
mojosmom: (elections)
I was a good girl and voted today. The judicial ballot was annoyingly long as usual, and I spent inordinate amounts of time on the web reading the various bar association and judicial commission reports trying to figure out who to vote for. The one race I chose not to vote in was for our Congressman. The incumbent is someone whose positions I generally agree with. However, he is suffering from a depressive disorder that has required multiple hospitalizations. While I certainly don't think that illness of any sort should be an automatic reason to vote against someone, in this case it has interfered with his ability to perform his duties, and I was also very unhappy with the way he and his staff handled the disclosure of his situation to his constituents. He had two opponents, one a Republican whose positions - where he actually disclosed them - are the opposite of mine, and the other an independent candidate who can't put together a coherent sentence. (He also has a really annoying website and misuses quotation marks constantly.) So I sat that one out.

I plan to spend election night watching the returns in the hotly-contested race in 14th-century Genoa between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. (I'm seeing Simon Boccanegra at Lyric.) Also keeping an eye on traffic as the Prez is in town, and what I hope will be the celebration is to be at the McCormick Place convention center, right on my way home from the opera.

Has it really been two months since I posted last? Apparently so. I will not even attempt to say what all I've been doing. But a few brief highlights are in order.

Our local branch library, the oldest in the city, participated in the Open House Chicago program, a weekend during which historically and architecturally significant buildings are open to the public free of charge. I organized the volunteers to staff the branch, and had a lot of fun. Then I went and checked out several other places that were open, places that normally aren't.
Welcome to the Blackstone Branch Library

Some friends and I went up to Wisconsin a couple of weekends ago to check out the new Sir Norman Foster-designed building at S.C. Johnson company (famous for their Frank Lloyd Wright administration building). We drove by a couple of other FLW buildings in Racine, went to the Racine Art Museum, and then headed to Kenosha to the Kenosha Public Museum and dinner at a very good, upscale Italian restaurant. We had a great, if tiring, time.

This past Sunday, I went to one of the Chicago Humanities Festival events, "The Making of an American Opera", about the opera Lyric has commissioned based on Ann Patchett's book, Bel Canto. The composer and lyricist were discussing their collaboration, how the commission came about, etc. All quite interesting. Later the same day, I saw Beppe Severgnini's documentary Portland 2 Portland: A Political Train Journey Across America. Afterwards, Severgnini and two of the crew talked about the trip and some of the technical challenges of filming on a train.

I've also been to a couple of plays, some concerts, and some art exhibits.

Non-cultural stuff: a new coffeehouse opened across the street from me. I can recommend their carrot cake.
mojosmom: (travel)
I had fun! Well, you knew that, but to get more specific . . .

Arriving late Sunday afternoon, I didn't do much that day other than wander a bit around the neighborhood of my hotel. This managed to include a visit to a bookstore (Westsider Books) where a couple of books did insist on coming along with me. Not my fault. Then dinner at a very nice Turkish restaurant, Savann, on Amsterdam Avenue.

Monday )

Tuesday )

Wednesday )

Thursday )

I had plenty of time at the airport before my flight, which then arrived in Chicago right on time. Went home and tried to unpack, but for some reason found that a bit difficult:
Why it takes so long to unpack after a trip!
mojosmom: (Default)
I had fun! Well, you knew that, but to get more specific . . .

Arriving late Sunday afternoon, I didn't do much that day other than wander a bit around the neighborhood of my hotel. This managed to include a visit to a bookstore (Westsider Books) where a couple of books did insist on coming along with me. Not my fault. Then dinner at a very nice Turkish restaurant, Savann, on Amsterdam Avenue.

Monday )

Tuesday )

Wednesday )

Thursday )

I had plenty of time at the airport before my flight, which then arrived in Chicago right on time. Went home and tried to unpack, but for some reason found that a bit difficult:
Why it takes so long to unpack after a trip!
mojosmom: (Default)
I've been flitting about a lot. )

Other things )

It's a good thing I'm retired and can sleep late. (Well, not so late. Lilith is better than any alarm clock. 7:00 a.m. sharp, she's patting my face, demamding that I get up and feed her!)
mojosmom: (Default)
How did it get to be September already? Gosh, the summer has simply flown. The Chicago Jazz Fest starts tonight (well, actually, last night with the Jazz Club Tour), and I'm planning to hit tomorrow night's concert, as well as the day and evening events on Saturday and Sunday. Rain is predicted, so I will take my umbrella - to ward off sun and rain as required.

This being Chicago, there's been a lot of jazz this summer, and last Thursday I went to hear trumpeter Corey Wilkes (and friends) at Millennium Park. Went back there on Saturday for the grand finale performance of Chicago Dancing, which I hadn't planned to do until my younger sister said that a friend of hers was having a dance performed there by River North Dance. Also performing were the Joffrey, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Ballet West.

Earlier that day, a friend and I went to Graceland Cemetery for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "Women of Influence" tour. It was very interesting, and even though I knew about most of the women the docent talked about, I learned new things about them, and met some new ones. Walking tours are free to members; now that I have all this free time, I just might have to join. I'd definitely get my money's worth.

Friday evening there was a reception at the Chicago Public Library for the "One Book, Many Interpretations: Second Edition" exhibit, wherein bookbinders were invited to bind copies of the books that have been chosen for the "One Book, One Chicago" program over the last five years. They haven't put the catalogue online yet, though I understand that they are planning to do so. When and if that happens, I'll have to link to it, because there were some stunning pieces. In fact, they were giving out copies of all the books (labeled "This book has been placed here for you to Read, Enjoy and Pass It On . . .") and I picked up Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" solely on the strength of the bindings people had done for it, which were quite intriguing. I hadn't liked the one other novel of his I'd read ("American Gods"), so likely would not have considered reading this one otherwise. I also picked up the newest selection, "The Adventures of Augie March", by Saul Bellow.

On Tuesday, I went to the Art Institute to see the show, "Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945".
The Motherland Calls!

Fascinating story of how this exhibit came about. Back in 1997, when renovations were going on in the Prints and Drawings Department, a couple of dozen wrapped parcels were found on the back of a shelf in a closet. They contained propaganda posters that had been created during the war by the Soviet news agency, TASS. The exhibition includes these restored posters, as well as some from earlier in Soviet history, some U.S. and British posters using some of the same images, and other Allied propaganda posters. After victory, came false hopes:
"Peace - we won it together"

Went from there to my bank, where I refinanced my mortgage (something I should have done a long time ago, but better late than never).

And in a move that got me much thanks from my fellow Teatro Vista board members, yesterday I made chocolate chip scones and took them to our board meeting. I do so like baking, but you can't bake just a couple of cookies or one cupcake!
mojosmom: (Default)
How did it get to be September already? Gosh, the summer has simply flown. The Chicago Jazz Fest starts tonight (well, actually, last night with the Jazz Club Tour), and I'm planning to hit tomorrow night's concert, as well as the day and evening events on Saturday and Sunday. Rain is predicted, so I will take my umbrella - to ward off sun and rain as required.

This being Chicago, there's been a lot of jazz this summer, and last Thursday I went to hear trumpeter Corey Wilkes (and friends) at Millennium Park. Went back there on Saturday for the grand finale performance of Chicago Dancing, which I hadn't planned to do until my younger sister said that a friend of hers was having a dance performed there by River North Dance. Also performing were the Joffrey, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Ballet West.

Earlier that day, a friend and I went to Graceland Cemetery for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "Women of Influence" tour. It was very interesting, and even though I knew about most of the women the docent talked about, I learned new things about them, and met some new ones. Walking tours are free to members; now that I have all this free time, I just might have to join. I'd definitely get my money's worth.

Friday evening there was a reception at the Chicago Public Library for the "One Book, Many Interpretations: Second Edition" exhibit, wherein bookbinders were invited to bind copies of the books that have been chosen for the "One Book, One Chicago" program over the last five years. They haven't put the catalogue online yet, though I understand that they are planning to do so. When and if that happens, I'll have to link to it, because there were some stunning pieces. In fact, they were giving out copies of all the books (labeled "This book has been placed here for you to Read, Enjoy and Pass It On . . .") and I picked up Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" solely on the strength of the bindings people had done for it, which were quite intriguing. I hadn't liked the one other novel of his I'd read ("American Gods"), so likely would not have considered reading this one otherwise. I also picked up the newest selection, "The Adventures of Augie March", by Saul Bellow.

On Tuesday, I went to the Art Institute to see the show, "Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945".
The Motherland Calls!

Fascinating story of how this exhibit came about. Back in 1997, when renovations were going on in the Prints and Drawings Department, a couple of dozen wrapped parcels were found on the back of a shelf in a closet. They contained propaganda posters that had been created during the war by the Soviet news agency, TASS. The exhibition includes these restored posters, as well as some from earlier in Soviet history, some U.S. and British posters using some of the same images, and other Allied propaganda posters. After victory, came false hopes:
"Peace - we won it together"

Went from there to my bank, where I refinanced my mortgage (something I should have done a long time ago, but better late than never).

And in a move that got me much thanks from my fellow Teatro Vista board members, yesterday I made chocolate chip scones and took them to our board meeting. I do so like baking, but you can't bake just a couple of cookies or one cupcake!
mojosmom: (Music)
I had an appointment last Wednesday to get my teeth cleaned and examined, and since my dentist's office is right across the street from Millennium Park, I decided to go downtown early and enjoy the open rehearsal for that night's Grant Park Symphony concert. How lovely to sit in the sun and listen to Mozart and various Strausses! Conductor Carlos Kalmar was quite relaxed:
Conductors Lean Back Everywhere

It was Austrian week at the Grant Park Symphony, and Thursday evening they performed Franz Schmidt's oratoria, The Book with Seven Seals, a musical setting of Revelations. It was a beautiful night, perfect weather for an outdoor concert. Yesterday evening, I was fortunately at an indoor event, because it was storming off and on. I went to the Cultural Center for a performance of Astor Piazzola and Horacio Ferrer's very surreal and beautiful tango opera, Maria de Buenos Aires.

Best thing? All this music was free.

In other things, there were white peaches at the farmers market on Thursday. I bought half a dozen, and puréed three of them for Bellinis. Yesterday, I went, as I do every year, to the Midwest Buddhist Temple's Ginza Festival, for chicken teriyaki, taiko drumming, crafts and other fun things.
mojosmom: (Default)
Wow, I just realized that I haven't posted anything substantive since I talked about my New York trip.

Since then, I've started my Italian literature class (as well as the regular language class) and my "Queens of Crime" class continues. Both are quite enjoyable. I attended the annual Printers Ball, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, which is really just an excuse to pick up free copies of 'zines, literary journals and some books. I did restrain myself, as I really am trying to free up some space on my shelves. Unfortunately for that plan, I also went to the Newberry Library Book Fair, where I did not restrain myself.

We'd been having really hot weather, but about a week ago we had a big storm overnight, and since then it's cooled off (that is, it's in the low 80s rather than the high 90s). It had been way too hot to do any real walking, so the next day I did a long walk along the lake, which was still stirred up from the storm, and was showing an amazing number of different shades of blue:

Surf's up!

I observed Do Nothing But Read Day on Saturday (though I did take a break to go buy groceries!), and finished up the book I had in progress, as well as a couple of others (one very short). On Sunday, I went up north for a picnic. We went to a park near my friend Cheryl's where there is quite a nice shelter. It's fully enclosed, but with windows that are nearly floor to ceiling that open up, so you get the air, but are protected if, as happened to us, it suddenly decides to thunderstorm! From there, I went to another friend's for a small get-together.

On Monday, I had to be downtown for a planning meeting for a seminar in October. It was held in a building right across from the Daley Center, which houses some courts and city offices and has a Picasso in the plaza:
Chicago's PIcasso

In the summer, all sorts of events are held there, and this week they're having the Chicago Sister Cities International Festival, with food and vendors and performances. So before the meeting, I lunched on jerk chicken and watched some kids demonstrating Taekwondo.

West Side Story is playing in Chicago, and I'd been debating whether to go (tickets aren't cheap). I finally decided that I really wanted to see it as a) I love it, b) it's gotten good reviews, and c) this is the bilingual version. Verdict: B+. I wasn't terribly impressed with the woman who sang Maria; I don't know if it was the way she was miked, but her voice was a bit shrill and thin for my taste. Tony and Anita, on the other hand, were excellent, and I thought the bilingual experiment worked really well.

I had dinner beforehand at one of my favorite local restaurants. Very inexpensive, as they had sent me a gift certificate for my birthday which resulted in a three course meal with two glasses of wine costing me just over $10 (just over $20 with the tip).
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
It really was delightful.

I went to our local farmers' market on Saturday and picked up, among other things, lamb for shish kebab, an old and honored 4th of July tradition in my family. In the afternoon, I went to see David Henry Hwang's play, Yellow Face, by the Silk Road Theatre Project. We are having quite the DHH festival here this summer. I'll be seeing Chinglish (world premiere and Broadway-bound) at the Goodman tomorrow, and an early work, Family Devotions will be performed later in the summer.

Sunday I made my usual trek up to Waukegan for their parade, and a cookout afterwards. We are usually at my friend Julie's for that, but she fell and hurt her back a short time ago and wasn't up to having people over, so we went to Margaret's instead. M. has acquired a screened room for her backyard, similar to this one, so it's a very pleasant way to sit outside and enjoy the weather while not being bothered by bugs. We had the requisite hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans and watermelon, and I brought champagne to celebrate my retirement.

On the actual holiday, I again followed tradition by sitting on my front stoop to watch the neighborhood parade, and then going to Nichols Park for jazz, ice cream and family fun. They had a petting zoo this year, and I think this boy wants a new pet:
Little boy with animals.

Then I came home and for dinner made the aforesaid shish kebab and had that with a green salad.

I have settled my plans for New York. I'll be flying in on Saturday, July 16 and coming home on Wednesday, July 20. So I'll observe my birthday in the Big Apple! I'm staying (as usual) on the Upper West Side, at 76th St. I will definitely save the Morgan Library for Tuesday, as that is the day the Xu Bing exhibit opens. I was happy to learn that the Neue Galerie's Vienna 1900 exhibit has been extended, so I will be able to see that after all. I expect I'll combine that with a visit to the Jewish Museum, as they are relatively close to each other and both are open on Mondays (unlike most NYC museums). Unfortunately, Born Yesterday, which I was hoping to see, has closed.
mojosmom: (cat)
Today is the first day of my retirement.

I highly recommend retiring (or otherwise leaving your job) for finding out what people think of you. I was taken out to lunch twice in two days, and colleagues kept stopping by my office yesterday telling me they were going to miss me and thanking me for my help and my work. After my last case in court, the judge led a round of applause for me. To my utter astonishment, the former State's Attorney (now an Appellate Court justice) showed up at my going-away party Wednesday night, when there was no political percentage in his doing so. The party was delightful in all respects. We went to a local casual restaurant which has a patio, and, as the weather was glorious, that is where we hung out. Scads of people showed up, from my office as well as the prosecutor's office, and also a number of people with whom I used to work (one of whom brought me a bottle of champagne).

Last night, a friend invited me to a wine-tasting at her church (it was a fund-raiser for one of their summer youth programs). They had quite the variety! About 15 different winemakers, from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, were represented, with several varietals each. (I did not sample all of them!) Ordinarily, I'd have taken the bus home, but as there were a few of us from the neighborhood, we decided to share a cab. And thank goodness. About ten minutes after I got home, we were hit by a major thunderstorm. It was coming down in sheets, and in some areas they got hail so thick it looked like snow on the ground. Sadly, one of those areas was the neighborhood where the Garfield Park Conservatory is; the buildings were badly damaged, and they have had to close indefinitely.

This morning, I woke up about 6:30 and promptly turned over and went back to sleep. ;-))

It was supposed to be horribly hot today. Instead, it was extremely overcast, and threatening rain again. I debated going to an outdoor jazz concert at the local shopping center. In the event, I did go, and we got in well over an hour's worth of music (two hours were scheduled) before it started to rain a bit. Since you don't want to be playing electrified instruments in the rain, however slight, the concert ended, and I went and had a light lunch.

The rain stopped shortly thereafter, but it was still overcast, and when I got home I encountered my downstairs neighbor who was mulling over whether she should go to Taste of Chicago. I hope she did go, because it's cleared up quite nicely now, and the sun is out. The cat and I hung out on the porch while dinner was in the oven. Dinner, by the way, was excellent. I did a pork tenderloin with cardamon, mint and dried apricots, and had a green salad with it. Yum.

Here's an utter travesty. I will be taking a course on British women mystery writers, and we were supposed to read Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night, one of my favorite books ever. Today, I got an email from the instructor with a syllabus change. Seems that Gaudy Night is out of print! (And so are the two Ngaio Marsh books we were going to read.) I'm appalled.
mojosmom: (Default)
Cleveland. And Akron! Exciting, no?

Actually, a good time was had by all. My younger sister arrived in Chicago on Wednesday (the 15th). We went to the Art Institute on Thursday, and drove to Cleveland to my older sister's place on Friday. Next day, we drove to Akron to see the Herman Leonard photography exhibit at the Akron Museum of Art, and, of course, while we were there we looked at more of their collection. They had on display some pieces from the collection of Dorothy & Herbert Vogel, a librarian and postal worker who amassed one of the finest collections of contemporary art, all on the salaries of civil servants. Talk about living for art! Then we had lunch al fresco at Chrissie Hynde's restaurant, VegiTerranean. I managed to avoid fake meat and fake dairy in favor of a very nice pasta dish.

On Sunday, we went to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see a show of Japanese and Korean art, The Lure of Painted Poetry, which was quite marvelous. We had dinner at a very good soul food restaurant, Zanzibar. Stacey told us it was good, and we could see she was right by the number of people leaving the place with leftovers in hand. Excellent service, too.

The next day, it was on to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to see Stacey's exhibit. It's well worth seeing, and I would say that even if she weren't my sister.

In between all this running around, we hung out at her apartment with her seven cats (there are only six in the picture because one of them spent most of the time hiding in a closet):

Six cats

Cathy and I drove back to Chicago on Tuesday. I took off work on Wednesday, and, as it was perfect walking-around weather, we decided to got to Graceland Cemetery, where all sorts of well-known and not-so-well known Chicagoans are buried, including lots of architects (Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Walter Netsch, Mies van der Rohe, and more).
Louis Henri Sullivan

Cathy went back to San Francisco on Thursday, and I went back to work.

We had fabulous weather over the weekend, and so on Saturday I went to the Poetry Foundation's Open House. Ruth Lilly, the pharmaceuticals heiress, left Poetry magazine tons of money (the bequest was valued at over $100 million at the time - more now), despite the fact that they rejected her submissions! The magazine formed a foundation to promote poetry, and built a lovely new facility, which was the reason for the open house. There were a lot of author readings both Saturday and Sunday; however, by the time I learned about this, all the tickets were gone. So I just checked out the building and participated in the Poetry Corps, which meant I got to read a poem for their archives. Look at all the poetry!
The library

The weather has continued fine, so I have been spending much of my spare time sitting on the back porch with a cat, a book, and a glass of ice tea (or wine, depending).

Ducky day!

Jun. 1st, 2011 11:39 am
mojosmom: (Default)
After a cold and rainy weekend, Memorial Day did, indeed, turn out beautiful. After running an errand on North Michigan Avenue, I went back south to the Art Institute, planning on just wandering a bit in the Japanese galleries (which I did). However, I discovered that it was the last day of the exhibit of French Renaissance art. I'd had it in mind to see that again, but thought it had closed, so when I discovered that it was still up, of course I had to go through it. I also visited the exhibit Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life. People stuck things in books and forgot about them even back then:
The Nuremberg Chronicle, Michael Wolgemut and workshop, 1493

I decided to have lunch in the sun, at the museum's McClintock Court, where I watched a duck swimming around in the fountain:
Duck at McClintock Court fountain

And then I had duck salad for lunch. Sorry, guy.

When I got home, I made the summer's first batch of iced tea, and sat out on the back porch with a glass of tea and a book.

All told, a very enjoyable day!
mojosmom: (Default)
It was supposed to be in the '70s yesterday and the '80s today. It is currently somewhere in the low '60s. Which wouldn't be so bad, except that it is also raining. Just like yesterday. Seriously, both days, I'm thinking I should head downtown and run a couple of errands and enjoy the weekend. I plan my timing to miss a) the Memorial Day Parade yesterday, and b) Bike the Drive today. And both days, the minute I think it's time to get ready to go out, I hear the patter of little raindrops.

If he doesn't come through with tomorrow's promised 90º and sunny, he's fired.

However, I am taking advantage of this to get a lot of stuff done around here. In the process of switching out the summer and winter clothes (between the bedroom closet and the hall storage closet), I have piled up a ton of things that I don't wear or that don't fit and have accumulated about four bags (so far) of clothes and other items to take to the Brown Elephant Resale shop. (I haven't taken them up there, though, since there are Cubs games every day and that always screws up traffic and parking in the area.)

Before the weather turned to complete shit yesterday, I went over to the library to pick up a book ("The Hare with Amber Eyes", which was recommended on Bookcrossing. I'm think I'll spend the dreary afternoon finishing up my current read (Arthur Phillip's The Tragedy of Arthur by William Shakespeare, and start the new one. I also went by the farmers' market. Not much variety yet, though you could have fed an entire town on all the asparagus available!

NOTE: this is my first attempt at posting to Dreamwidth with a cross-post to LJ. Hope it works! (I've imported all my LJ to Dreamwidth, too.) Which reminds me. I have three invite codes to Dreamwidth. If anyone wants one, drop a comment!)
mojosmom: (Default)
It was supposed to be in the '70s yesterday and the '80s today. It is currently somewhere in the low '60s. Which wouldn't be so bad, except that it is also raining. Just like yesterday. Seriously, both days, I'm thinking I should head downtown and run a couple of errands and enjoy the weekend. I plan my timing to miss a) the Memorial Day Parade yesterday, and b) Bike the Drive today. And both days, the minute I think it's time to get ready to go out, I hear the patter of little raindrops.

If he doesn't come through with tomorrow's promised 90º and sunny, he's fired.

However, I am taking advantage of this to get a lot of stuff done around here. In the process of switching out the summer and winter clothes (between the bedroom closet and the hall storage closet), I have piled up a ton of things that I don't wear or that don't fit and have accumulated about four bags (so far) of clothes and other items to take to the Brown Elephant Resale shop. (I haven't taken them up there, though, since there are Cubs games every day and that always screws up traffic and parking in the area.)

Before the weather turned to complete shit yesterday, I went over to the library to pick up a book ("The Hare with Amber Eyes", which was recommended on Bookcrossing. I'm think I'll spend the dreary afternoon finishing up my current read (Arthur Phillip's The Tragedy of Arthur by William Shakespeare, and start the new one. I also went by the farmers' market. Not much variety yet, though you could have fed an entire town on all the asparagus available!

NOTE: this is my first attempt at posting to Dreamwidth with a cross-post to LJ. Hope it works! (I've imported all my LJ to Dreamwidth, too.) Which reminds me. I have three invite codes to Dreamwidth. If anyone wants one, drop a comment!)
mojosmom: (Chicago)
I think winter might be really and truly over. (Having said that, it will probably snow.)

Yesterday, it was 60-ish. I went off to my AAUW meeting, a wine tasting, so what if it was only 11:00 in the morning? Well, maybe 11:30 by the time we started pouring the wine. Then I headed over to the Chicago History Museum, just a short bus ride away. See, my courtroom partner is a Civil War re-enactor, and he let slip that his troop was going to be participating in an event there. Naturally, I said I'd have to stop by with my camera, which got him all flustered and embarrassed. But when I got there and found him, he was quite the actor. He posed for me with a rather inauthentic empty plastic the vodka bottle, which was highly amusing, because he never drinks.
Ricky (a/k/a Henry Simonton)
(My partner is the guy standing up.)

In the evening, I went to a lovely concert of 16th-century Italian vocal music, with three fantastic sopranos, a harpsichord, and a variety of violins and lutes.

Today, it was at least eighty, and sunny, and gorgeous. I was inspired to heights of cleaning, mostly because I want to get the place straightened up before I leave for Washington. This afternoon, I went to a rather curious opera, Death and the Powers, by Tod Machover, with a libretto by Robert Pinsky. It's got robots performing an opera within an opera, about a very wealthy guy who dies and goes into "The System", which he has invented to immortalize himself through technology. I kind of liked it, but I don't know. When an entire page of technology notes precedes the synopsis, I have to wonder about the priorities involved.

It was a short opera, just one, 90-minute, act, and because it was such a fabulous day, and the Park Grille's outside seating area was open, I treated myself to dinner there. Salmon tartare, risotto con pomodori secchi e salsiccia, and a sweet potato chiffon (like a mousse) for dessert.

I also managed to finish two books this weekend, Laurence Cossé's A Novel Bookstore, about a shop that sells only good novels, chosen by a secret committee, and James Cain's Mildred Pierce, which contains one of the best passages ever: "Are you insinuating that my daughter is a snake?" "No -- is a coloratura soprano, is much worse."

Now you must excuse me because it's time for the new Upstairs Downstairs!

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