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.

Since D.C.

May. 25th, 2011 10:23 pm
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
I haven't posted anything of significance since I came back from Washington, weeks ago! So this is a catch-up post.

Since then, I've been to Springfield for a conference, and stopped at New Salem Historic Site, where Abraham Lincoln lived for a few years (though it wasn't a historic site then!), on my way home. I hadn't been there since I was a kid, and they've build a fancy-schmancy new visitor's center, and, naturally, a gift shop. Few of the buildings are original, but they are all built the way they would have been at the time, and are furnished with period pieces, many donated by descendants of the original settlers. Like many such sites, they have interpreters, dressed in period clothing and conducting period activities, like blacksmithing. And if you've ever wondered what Abe did with those rails he split, here you go:
Split-rail fence - New Salem Historic Site

I've also been up to Milwaukee with a bunch of friends to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum of Art:
Milwaukee Art Museum
It was huge, lots of drawings and models, and some home movies! We have started talking about a road trip to Taliesin. We had an excellent lunch at a restaurant by the lake, in a park designed by Frederic Law Olmsted.

Unfortunately, my car met with an accident at the end of the trip. I was dropping people off at a friend's house, parked my car across the street, and when M. was pulling out of C.'s driveway, she didn't cut soon enough and backed into my car! Fortunately, no one was in it at the time, and it was driveable. It's currently in the body shop, though.

I've been to a couple of operas and plays, and last Saturday went to a workshop sponsored by the Network of Ensemble Theatres for artistic staff and board members of ensemble theatre companies to talk about ways to improve communications and understand the respective roles of each. I thought it was very useful. Teatro Vista's current play, Freedom, N.Y., opened about a couple of weeks ago, and we had a nice event at a pub down the street from the venue.

Thanks to Goldstar, I got a half-price ticket to the Alvin Ailey Dance Company at the Auditorium. It's Judith Jamison's last season as artistic director, and the 50th anniversary of Revelations, Ailey's iconic piece, which they danced at every performance. It's still wonderful.

Tonight, I went to a fascinating lecture at the National Museum of Mexican Art. In an event jointly sponsored by the Museum and the American Jewish Committee, Sophie Bejarano de Goldberg talked about the book she co-authored, Sefarad de ayer, oy i manyana (The Sephardic Jews of yesterday, today and tomorrow), a history of Sephardic Jews in Mexico. It's one of three Jewish communities in Mexico, the others being Ashkenazi and Arab Jews, and consists of about 1200 families (the entire Jewish population is around 40,000). She and her co-authors interviewed many people who came to Mexico during the third wave of Sephardic immigration in the '20s and '30s, mostly from Turkey and other parts of the Ottoman Empire (the first wave was in the 1500s, the second in the 1800s), and borrowed many documents and photographs to include. The Museum had some of those on display, including this Kaddish in Ladino (sorry for the lousy quality - I didn't have my good camera with me):
Kaddish in Ladino

Weekend before last, I braved the cold (yes, it was in the mid-'40s, and damp) and went to the Hyde Park Garden Fair to buy herbs. I finally got them planted on Sunday, when the sun decided to put in an appearance and it was warm! That same weekend, I was at my dry cleaners when I saw a sign for a yard sale to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I wandered over there and came away with a bunch of books. Then this past Friday, I finally used the Groupon coupon I had for a used bookstore and came away with another whole slew of books.

In between all this, I've been sending paperwork hither and yon for my retirement. Social Security and state pension applications are in, but the IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) can't be submitted sooner than 30 days before my retirement date. So that will go in next week. I have also signed up for a second Italian class (a literature one) and a class on British women mystery writers between the wars, both of which meet on a weekday morning. I am so looking forward to being able to do stuff during the day!

I'm thinking about a trip to New York in July, maybe over my birthday weekend. There's a show at the Morgan Library, Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands, that I'd like to see. If I go in July, I can also check out the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, too.

They've just announced the schedule for the Printers Row Lit Fest, and I immediately ordered tickets for a couple of author events. I may order a couple more. They're free, so if I don't go, I'm not out any money and someone else will get in.
mojosmom: (happy)
that I was planning on retiring at the end of June, and in the course of the discussion I mentioned that I'd be turning 63 this summer. And he said, "Really? I never would have guessed."

Made my day!

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