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: (Chicago)
I made the first pesto and the first iced tea of the season. The pesto was by necessity, as some of my basil got its stem broken in Friday's storm, so had to be used. I had gnocchi with pesto for dinner, and it was yummy!

This morning, I got up earlier than usual, though not as early as planned (my alarm clock doesn't seem to be working right), and headed to the north side to a pub to watch the World Cup game between Italy and New Zealand. Since this was organized by folks from Casa Italiana, you can imagine the distress! However, being a member of one of the two groups (gay men and straight women) who, Daniella pointed out, just like watching the players, it was all good. (It's true, you know, that soccer players are better to look at than players of other sports; I don't know why, but it is so.) And we did celebrate Daniella having just become "una cittadina americana".

In not so great news, but tolerable, my dishwasher decided to stop draining, so I asked the guys to look at it yesterday as long as they were here. It's not the drain; the motor is shot. Since I've been in the condo for eleven years, and the dishwasher was here when I arrived, I think the wisest course is to bite the bullet and get a new one, rather than try to get this one repaired. Fortunately, as I do dishes for one, it's not something I feel the need to run out and do right this instant.
mojosmom: (Default)
Italian classes started up again last Monday, and I brought a chocolate panettone that I found at my local produce store. (The family that owns it is Italian, and so they also carry quite a variety of imported Italian goodies.)

I don't remember if I posted that my boss was named a judge, so they're looking for a new Public Defender. On Monday, the list was narrowed down to six names. I know three of the people (one currently in our office, and the other two I know from other places), all of whom I'd be happy with. The other three are unknown quantities.


Tuesday night was the Teatro Vista board meeting. The majority of the actors from the Chicago production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity will be in the New York production. I'm probably going to go to New York a day or so earlier than I originally planned, so I can meet up with Eddie before he leaves on May 31.

Thursday night, I was thrilled and delighted to watch the start of season 7 of Project Runway, back in New York where it belongs. Quite a variety of points of view among the designers, and there was color! and pattern! on the runway. I think this may turn out to be a very good season.

Tosca at Lyric on Friday night, with a bit of unplanned excitement at the end of the second act. Fortunately, all turned out well, but just as Tosca stabs Scarpia, and orders him to "Muori dannato!", a woman a few rows up from me collapsed, and there were calls for a doctor. Another audience member who was obviously a doctor jumped out of his seat and went to help, and she revived and was helped out under her own steam, though the ushers said later that she left the building in an ambulance, but was okay. (P.S. Loved the opera - it's a favorite!)

I have been very lazy this three-day weekend. I went out to a concert Saturday night (eighth blackbird, and Suzanne Mentzner) and a play last night (The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, based on her book, which I suppose I should now read), but during the day I haven't done much at all. Today, I'm playing catch-up on this and my other blog. I ran into a former colleague both Saturday and Sunday night! She is doing volunteer ushering. I rarely see her, so twice in two nights was a surprise.

Off to class soon. We had to write a few sentences describing our "casa dei sogni", house of our dreams. I said mine would clean itself.
mojosmom: (Default)
I was watching RAI-International, which is broadcast here for several hours on Sunday mornings. When I turned it on, they were showing a soccer match. Italian soccer players are adorable! That was followed by a segment about a production of Zelmira at Pesaro's Rossini Opera Festival, starring Juan Diego Flórez, one of the hottest tenors around.

I feel as though the new year actually starts tomorrow, as I head back to work for the first time in 2010, and also start up my Italian lessons again. I spent the past week doing my regular coaching at the Appellate Defender's trial advocacy program, and enjoying it as much as always.

As always during the first week in January, we got hit with a snow storm. I'm glad I was taking public transportation instead of driving! In fact, I hadn't taken the car out in nearly a week, as I didn't need it, so Friday afternoon when I got home, I bundled up and went out and cleaned several inches of snow off it. It really wasn't so bad, as it was the light, fluffy snow, and I had no trouble at all getting out of my parking space.

It also wasn't as cold as they were claiming it would be yesterday (being so close to the lake mitigates the temperatures), so I did the grocery store/post office/drugstore run. Then I came home and was productive. I took the Christmas stuff down to my basement storage locker, and actually made significant headway on cleaning out a closet. I had a couple of boxes full of paperwork that I hadn't even looked at in years, so I tossed a bunch of it, and the boxes, which had become unnecessary.

Then I made soup for dinner. I used chicken stock as a base, and added chopped leeks, mustard greens and carrots that I had sautéed in a combination of butter and olive oil until fairly soft. I puréed about a third of the vegetables and added that back (this makes the soup thicker). At the end of the cooking time, I also added some milk. I used salt, pepper and thyme for seasoning. It was very good, and hit the spot on a cold day.

I had tentative plans for today to meet a Bookcrosser who was stranded here due to weather in Europe. Her Thursday flight to London from JFK was cancelled, so they booked her out of O'Hare Friday, but that was cancelled, too, and she wasn't going to be able to get out until Monday! When she posted that in the forums, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Having to sit in an airport hotel in a town where you don't know anyone for an entire weekend, while not as bad as being stuck at the airport itself, would really suck. So I took pity on her and volunteered my company. However, she was able to find a flight yesterday with one empty seat, grabbed it, and is now home.

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity is going to New York! It will be at Second Stage Theatre from April 27-June 20. It may go to Broadway if all goes well. My friend, Eddie Torres, will once again be directing. Casting hasn't been announced, but if they're smart they'll use the Chicago cast. I'll be in New York in early June for my college reunion, so I will definitely go see it again then.
mojosmom: (chf)
CHF:

Saturday:
Wayne Koestenbaum: The Anatomy of Harpo Marx:
Koestenbaum is a poet and cultural critic, and, in addition to his well-known, The Queen's Throat: Opera, Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire, has written books about Andy Warhol and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. He's interested in celebrity. Now he's taken on Harpo Marx. This was an odd lecture. He began by saying he was going to "over-analyze" moments from Harpo's work. And he sure did. The thing is, though, that it was hard to tell if he was kidding or not! I and a couple of people near me were in stitches the whole time. It reminded me rather of the book, "Why Paint Cats", that send-up of art criticism that so many people took seriously.

Ars Antigua: Musical Jokes of the Baroque
This was fun! Drunken night watchmen, cuckoos and frogs and such, all set to lovely baroque music.

In between these two events, I had a bit of time, so I went over to the Art Institute to see the Caravaggio, "The Supper at Emmaus", which is there on loan from the National Gallery in London. It's displayed along with a number of the AIOCs own “Caravaggesque” paintings. (Thank you, London! We're sending you "The Crucifixion" by Francisco de Zurbarán in return. Enjoy!) I also saw the exhibit of Victorian photocollage, which was very interesting, indeed.

Sunday:
Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Stories
E. Patrick Johnson, professor, chair, and director of graduate studies in the department of performance studies and professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University, presented through performance bits of the interviews he conducted for the book of that name, and talked about the process of writing it (finding informants, etc.). A southerner himself, Johnson shows that what you think you know about the south isn't necessarily accurate. He notes that certain behaviors that in the the north would be considered markers of homosexuality (for instance, a man calling other men "darlin'") are just the way things are in the south. He made a similar observation to what Florence King said in her essay, "The Gay Confederation", that gay men "often maintain surprisingly high profiles in our allegedly homophobic region". Not to say all is peaches and cream, though.

Commedia dell'arte: Managing Chaos
A marvelous discourse about, and performance of, commedia dell'arte. The performers showed how, with very little in the way of script, stock characters and stock jokes can be transformed through improvisation into wildly funny comedy.

Other stuff:

Friday was the annual dinner of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. We honored Randy Stone, former Cook County Public Defender (and the guy who really raised the bar at that office, turned into a truly professional law office instead of a home for political hacks) and former head of the University of Chicago Law School's clinical program (where he still teaches). A good time was had by all, and the speakers were uniformly funny, and, more important, brief! I saw lots of folks I hadn't seen in a while, so there was a lot of indiscriminate hugging.

Sunday, after the CHF stuff, I went to the Court Theatre's production of Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep which was great fun. Five roles played by two actors, with incredibly quick costume changes (the backstage folks got huge applause at the end). I'd seen the play a few years ago, but I sure didn't mind seeing it again.

On Monday, instead of our regular Italian class, most of us went to hear Italian author and activist Clara Sereni reading from her book, Casalinghitudine, which has recently been translated into English as Keeping House. She read in Italian and her translator then read the passages in English, followed by a Q&A and then some food and wine.

Yesterday, I went over to campus for the first Artspeaks program of the season. Dawn Upshaw, with members of eighth blackbird and some other musicians, performed Osvaldo Golijov's song cycle, "Ayre", which was inspired by Luciano Berio's "Folk Songs". The piece draws largely on Al-Andalus, that period of time in southern Spain when the three Abrahamic religions coexisted in relative harmony. The texts were in Spanish, Ladino, Arabic, Hebrew, some traditional music and texts reworked, some contemporary music and poetry. It was gorgeous. Following the performance, Golijov and the musicians were interviewed by Shulamit Ran, who, like Golijov, has been a composer-in-residence at the Chicago Symphony.

Tonight I didn't go anywhere except grocery shopping.

I've been catching up on back issues of The New Yorker, and found a little something for the bookstore and library employees among you.
mojosmom: (Italian)
Last night, I went to see Roberto Benigni's stand-up/lecture/recitation, Tutto Dante. Read my review here.
mojosmom: (Default)
All of the titles in the Stahl's Illustrated Series are designed to be fun.

And what is this fun book?

Memorial Day Weekend - Sunday & Monday )

Went yesterday with friends to see Rebecca Gilman's play, The Crowd You're in With. I was pleasantly surprised, as I'm not a big fan of Gilman's but enjoyed this one, I think because it's more balanced and less heavy-handed than much of her work (though it has its moments).

As I was heading to the restaurant where we were meeting for dinner, I cut through Daley Plaza and discovered that the annual Turkish Festival was going on. Most of the folks were packing up for the evening, but my eye was immediately caught by a sign "Ebru - paper marbling". I think this is an absolutely stunning form of marbling, so naturally I had to check it out. He had some very nice works on paper, but also some on fabric, and I bought a silk scarf:
Ebru scarf
The Festival runs through Saturday, so depending on weather and what else is happening, I might go downtown Saturday to check out more of the vendors, eat some of the food, and listen to some of the music.
mojosmom: (Default)
On Monday, instead of our regular session, my Italian class went up to Northwestern University to see Corpo di Stato: Il delitto Moro, a theatrical monologue by Marco Baliani. In 1978, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Aldo Moro, was kidnapped and, after 55 days, murdered by the Red Brigades. This event had a significant impact on the student movement, on Italian politics. Baliani's work looks at the event from a personal standpoint, addressing his own involvement in the student movement, his relationships, his role in the events. It was quite fascinating, and I saw many parallels between what he was talking about and the radical student movement here in the late '60s-early '70s. There were subtitles, which were helpful, though I found I could understand a fair bit without them.

Tuesday night, I went to a concert by the University of Chicago Early Music Ensemble, directed by David Douglass and Ellen Hargis of the Newberry Consort (who are artists-in-residence at the U of C), with a couple of other professionals as guest artists. The program consisted of Venetian music of the 16th and 17th centuries, and the students did quite a creditable job. I talked to David and Ellen before the concert began, and told David that I probably wouldn't get to his lecture the next day at the Newberry (he was talking about Handel) as I was "early musick'ed out", but he said I'd probably heard everything he was going to say already! (I do make an effort to go to all the pre-concert lectures, so he was probably right.)

I had switched my Court Theatre tickets, and went on Friday instead of my usual Sunday, which meant a later start (8:00 rather than 7:30). The play was August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, on of the plays in his Century Cycle, ten plays (nine set in Pittsburgh) about the African-American experience, each set in a different decade, and with some overlap of characters and history. The Piano Lesson, set in the 1930s, is one of two that won the Pulitzer Prize. It revolves around the relationship between a brother and sister, and whether or not they should sell the family piano, on which are carved the images of slave ancestors. It's about the importance of honoring the ancestors and remembering the past, yet also recognizing the need to move forward in life, and not be chained by the past.

A wedding reception yesterday. One of the women in my office was married a few months ago, but as it was an out-of-state wedding, her parents threw her a big reception locally. It was really lovely. The setting was the Meson Sabika, a beautiful old mansion build in the mid-1800s. Although the event was indoors, the weather improved enough during the day that we could wander out onto the terrace. The food was yummy, the bride lovely, and there was plenty to drink!

Then I came home and did laundry.
mojosmom: (cat)
I went to Casa Italiana's holiday party tonight. It was lots of fun -- food, drink, conversation, gossip, and I won a $50 gift certificate to a very good Italian restaurant!
mojosmom: (catkind)
I did the most bizarre trial this week. A double jury. Two guys were charged with burglary to a motor vehicle, but could not be tried together as they had conflicting defenses. (You know, "I didn't do it, he did".) But there was a civilian witness from out of state, so the prosecution asked for a double jury. This means that a separate jury sits as to each defendant. They are both in the courtroom when there is testimony that relates to both defendants, but when there is testimony relating to only one defendant, or during cross-examination by one defendant's counsel, the other defendant's jury leaves. There are also, obviously, separate opening statements and closing arguments. This leads to much to-ing and fro-ing (or, as one juror was overheard to say, a "Chinese fire drill").

These sorts of trials are quite common in Cook County (they've even had triple and quadruple juries - I don't know where they put them!), but not where I am. So there was much improvisation. I tried to find an admonishment/instruction to jurors in this situation, but there's none in Illinois. I finally found some language in a federal case out of the 10th Circuit and put one together, which the judge did give the jurors.

I don't, however, think that my judge will be inclined to do this again, as he said to another judge: "A bit of judicial advice; don't do a double jury!"

I lost, as expected, as did the other defendant. But my jury was out for five hours, as opposed to one-and-a-half for the other guy's. One of our misdemeanor assistants second-chaired the case with me. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have had a second chair on a case like this, but since opportunities to do a double jury are rare, I thought I'd give someone else a chance to sit in. I hadn't tried a case with her before, and I'm very favorably impressed. Her skills need work, as she's a relatively new lawyer, but she is eager to learn and a hard worker.

Unfortunately, because my jury didn't come back until 9:00 Thursday night, I missed the rescheduled going away party for my coworker (the one I mentioned had been cancelled due to a hostage situation a couple of weeks ago). I've called her, though, and we're going to have lunch next week.

Last night, I went to an ora felice (happy hour) at Casa Italiana. It was geared towards people networking for their businesses, not something I need to do, but I don't pass up the opportunity for wine, noshes, and practicing my Italian! One of the people who came was a woman who had been in class with me a couple of years ago. She had stopped taking classes because she was hired on by a big architectural firm to work on a major renovation project of a historic downtown hotel. Now that that's over, she has gone out on her own. Her husband, also an architect, will join her in this endeavor, but not for maybe a year. She was saying that she wants to do work mostly in hospitality (restaurants, hotels and the like), but when I said that was too bad because the only project I had was my tiny second bathroom, she and her husband were both interested, especially when I said that I want to bring it back to period, because he works a lot with older homes (my building is 1910). I expect, too, that when you are just starting out, no project that brings in money is too small! So I will be calling her, and may finally get this project off the ground.

On the way home, I stopped at a new produce store a couple of blocks from me (very new - they opened on Wednesday). It's called Open Produce, and is focused on sustainability, a laudable goal. Their stock is not huge, but it's varied, and they have a sheet of paper on the door for customers to write down suggestions for what they'd like to see. The prices are pretty reasonable, the staff is friendly (if still a bit green - oooh! pun!), and they are open until 11:00 p.m. almost every day.

This morning, I took my car in for an oil change, and as it was a gorgeous day, rather than wait in the dealer's boring waiting room, I decided to go up to the Green City Market. Never got there. Two blocks up, I discovered another farmers' market, so shopped there instead. I got some lovely tomatoes, golden raspberries, fingerling potatoes, and, in a sure sign of fall, butternut squash and chestnuts. Also some flowers - dahlias and tuberoses.
mojosmom: (Italian)
Yesterday, I went to a charity sale, proceeds to the Avon Breast Cancer Foundation. This sale happens every year, and they are very smart. Nothing is priced. Just "give what you think is appropriate and remember it's going to fight breast cancer". I bought a bunch of books, and these:
New shoes

Normally, I wouldn't buy shoes at a yard sale, but one look at the soles told me that these had never been worn. The store tag on the bottom wasn't even faded.

I was able to get to two of the local farmers' markets this week. It was my week for coaching at the intensive trial advocacy program at the U of C Law School (many wry chuckles were had over Scalia's recent fulminations that the school has become "liberal"), so I went to the larger Thursday market that I usually miss. And yesterday I went to the smaller one. I was going to a friend's for dinner and said I'd bring dessert, so I wanted to check out the fruit. I bought peaches and raspberries, about as fresh as you can get without picking them yourself. Yummers.

The local Italian-American Chamber of Commerce sponsored an Italian Style Expo at Navy Pier this weekend. I went and met up with some of the folks from Casa Italiana. Lots of food and wine to taste, jewellery and fashion to drool over, and literature to pick up. Not to mention various modes of transportation, from the sublime:
Lamborghinis
to the practical:
Boy on a red Vespa

I must say that if I didn't have such a long commute, and if we didn't have winter, I'd be very tempted by a Vespa!
mojosmom: (Default)
This weekend was the Hyde Park Art Center's annual 24-hour Creative Move program. I was planning to go over on Friday night, but it was pouring, so I stayed home and puttered, roasting potatoes to take to DeeJay's on Saturday. The next morning, I did go to the Art Center, and enjoyed the art, listened to music
'Olympus Manger,' Scene II, by Kelly Kaczynski
and watched kids messing about.
Pottery class

The Istria Café, which they have been promising for about a year, has finally opened, with lots of yummy flavors of gelato. I had a piccolo hazelnut, which wasn't all that piccolo! The guy kept scooping and I was wondering where it would all end! (Well, we know that; on my hips!) Then, when I went and paid the cashier, he counted out the change to himself, "cinque, sei", so when he gave me the change, I said, "Grazie tanto!", and he looked very startled and said, "Prego!" Maybe I'll go practice my Italian there.

I went up to DeeJay's for dinner, bringing the aforesaid potatoes. Peggy, Cheryl and the girls arrived rather dressed up, as they had just come from a shower for their minister. It's a mixed marriage - he's a Methodist and she's a Presbyterian. Shocking! ;-))

I'd thought of going to Artropolis today - a big art & antiques show at the Merchandise Mart. But I've been running around a lot, and wanted to go out tonight, so I hung out with the cats, watched Verdi's Macbeth on "Live from the Met", and did my homework instead. Then after dinner I went over to Rockefeller Chapel to hear the University of Chicago Motet Choir's annual concert of Jewish music - everything from Josquin de Prez and Solomone Rossi through Milhaud and Ravel up to Shulamit Ran and other contemporary composers. It was very lovely.
mojosmom: (busy bee)
The combination of the arrival of spring and the impending arrival of [livejournal.com profile] futurecatnz has inspired me to great diligence. I went to the dry cleaners, the grocery store and the drug store, did two loads of laundry, cleaned the windows in the spare room and kitchen, swept and damp-mopped a bunch of floors (though, not surprisingly, masses of cat hair magically appeared as soon as I was done), ran the dishwasher and baked a cake. It's a reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba), using Julia Child's recipe, of course! I am taking it to a surprise party for my hairdresser; her staff is throwing it for the 18th anniversary of her salon. Since Meseret is Ethiopian, and Sheba is traditionally identified with the area that is now Ethiopia, it seemed appropriate. It's also a very yummy cake, and easy to make.

Yes, I felt the earthquake yesterday morning. In fact, my first thought was "earthquake!" Then I figured the cats were just wrestling on the bed, but they weren't, nor was either of them doing that "scritch behind the ear with the hind leg" thing. I just went back to sleep, and woke to find out that my first thought was correct.

I missed the movie at Casa Italiana last night (L'Avventura) because I didn't get out of work in time. Traffic sucked big time, and I never would have made it.
mojosmom: (Default)
I have the day off (thanks, Abe!) so I took my car in for an oil change, only to find that it was overdue for routine maintenance. As a result, I sat around the car dealership longer than anticipated. Fortunately, I'd brought books.

By the time I left, it had begun snowing. It is still snowing. It's the light, fluffy stuff, and is kind of pretty, but I don't care. I am tired of it!! Stop already!!! We've had more snow this winter than we've had in 29 years, and it's not over yet.

I came home to find an email from my Italian instructor cancelling this evening's class. She didn't say why. Guess I don't have to finish my homework this afternoon.

I'm defrosting some meatballs for dinner. I have mushrooms and sour cream and noodles, so I think I'll have meatballs Stroganoff.
mojosmom: (Justice)
I spent much of the weekend busily preparing for a trial that was supposed to start today. We had a good self-defense case, and I was so looking forward to cross-examining the state's witnesses. "Mr. so-and-so, you were convicted of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm." "Yes". "For shooting at my client." "Yes". Unfortunately for my desire to amuse myself, the assistant state's attorney prosecuting the case got wise over the weekend, and offered my client a sweet deal on an unlawful possession of a firearm. So no trial. This happens a lot - prepare for trial and it won't go.

And I hadn't, of course, done all of my Italian homework, because I was so busy on the case! I had also changed my symphony ticket from Thursday to Friday, just in case the jury was out late on Thursday. I may try to change it back, so I can go to a Dario Castagno (Too Much Tuscan Sun) reading at Casa Italiana. We'll see.

In case you were wondering, if the toaster doesn't work after you plug it in, it may be because you actually plugged in the food processor instead. You should check, instead of just cursing a lot and threatening to throw the toaster out.
mojosmom: (Oy vey!)
Hoo boy! We have really gotten a pounding today. It was overcast this morning, cleared up early in the afternoon, and I was starting to think I'd get to that outdoor concert after all. Then the skies got darker, the phone on my desk beeped, and the PA announced that we all had to head for the nearest stairwell and go to the basement. Not a tornado, but severe weather. I grabbed my purse and a book, but the last turned out to be pointless as, shortly after we got downstairs, the power went out. About forty-five minutes later, we were allowed to go upstairs, get our things and leave. The power was still out.

The winds were bad. Tree limbs all over, traffic signals out. Listening to the traffic reports, I felt I didn't have it so bad, as there were no jack-knifed semis on my route, nor any reports of "roof in the road". Slow-going though. The weatherman says another line of storms is coming. At home now, the sky to the south is blue behind the clouds, but to the north it's very dark. So I have decided not to try for the concert.

Casa Italiana is having two classes in culinary Italian. I went to the first last night, and told Marco I'd come tonight "if it rained" (thereby necessitating missing the concert). However, I'm not going there, either. Not with that "roof in the road"! I'm staying home with the cats.

Tomorrow -- they're saying more of the same.
mojosmom: (Default)
In other words, "I ate too much!" It was the last Italian class of the summer, and two classes met together at our instructor's home, and had dinner in her garden. Molto vino, molto cibo (much wine, much food)! The "class" part was that at the last session we were split into three "families". We had to choose roles, and tonight a "secret" was whispered by an instructor into the ear of one family member. Then we had to act out reactions to that. In my family, we had decided our name was "Borgia"! And I was "la nonna" - the grandmother. Gosh, I was a bitch! The secret for us was that my (married) son was having an affair with the neighbor. So I called them both names, pretended to have a heart attack, and, being a proper Borgia, slipped poison into the neighbor's food. Such fun! The other two "family" secrets were that one son was gay, and that in the other the drunkard sisters were pregnant. Much fun was had by all, and after all that vino, we didn't care if we stumbled in our Italian.

I had actually had some good preparation for this yesterday, because I went to see Jerry Springer-the Opera at Bailiwick Repertory! You know, when I first heard about this opera, my reaction was, "You've got to be kidding!", but then it got rave reviews on its London début. So when it was announced that Bailiwick was doing it, it was on my radar, but, not unusually for me, I didn't get around to getting tickets. Then it was extended, and there were discount tickets on Hottix, so off I went yesterday. It was marvelous! You must see it if you get a chance.

Discoveries

Jul. 8th, 2007 06:28 pm
mojosmom: (Italian)
Discovery #1: RAI (Radiotelevisione Italia) is available on cable for six hours on Sunday morning! Watched a bit today, news, a soap, a episode of a mini-series about John Paul I (I know that would be a prime-time hit here in the States!).

Discovery #2: the coppersmiths of Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán.

I had thought about going to see Jerry Springer - the Opera this afternoon, but saw that the Hyde Park Art Center was presenting a program from the Cuentos Foundation that looked interesting. So as Jerry Springer has been extended through mid-August, and tickets seem easy to get at Hottix, I opted to stay local. And, wow! was I glad I did! They showed a short film about Santa Clara del Cobre, Huele de Noche (Night-blooming Jasmine), and then two master coppersmiths talked about and demonstrated their work. There were many pieces on display and for sale, though out of my price range. When one sees the amount of skill and labor that goes into this work, well, they're worth every penny. A piece of copper is hauled from the fire, and several men will pound it into a round, each hitting it with a huge hammer in sequence. How they don't miss a beat is beyond me. Then look at a piece like this:
Piece with heads
That might be made from one piece of copper! The masters can shape a piece and know by feel and sound the right thickness. It was just the kind of program, focused on process and traditional crafts, that I love.

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