mojosmom: (Default)
I got home from a concert a short while ago, and now it's lightning-ing and thundering! Guess I made it home just in time. Yes, I skipped the Oscars in favor of Mozart, Hadyn, Beethoven and Schubert.

Fabulous production of Lohengrin at Lyric on Friday night. Five hours just flew by! Emily McGee was Elsa, Johann Botha was Lohengrin (though he did look as if he'd be more at home in the sumo ring that sword-fighting), Greer Grimsley was Telramund, and all were excellent, but I thought Michaela Schuster's Ortrud stole the show.

Yesterday, I went to the Art Institute for a lecture on their new exhibit, Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France, and then went to the exhibit itself, which has some absolutely splendiferous pieces. There's a Jean Fouquet illumination, The Battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians, with some very curious marginalia. I'll definitely go back again.

There was an anti-Qaddafi demo going on a couple of blocks from the Art Institute, so I stopped and took some pictures.


This morning, I again went to Borders, where all is now 60% off, and did some more damage. They had an Italian-English dictionary, so I picked that up because the one I've been using is falling apart. And a few other things as well. They've got about a week left; we'll see if the discounts get even deeper!
mojosmom: (Turning pages)
and, having writ, moves on." Where the heck did the year go? If I were a resolution-making sort of person, I'd resolve to read more, be on the computer less, except for being on it more. That sounds like it makes no sense, but I started the year with all good intentions of keeping up my LJ and my book blog, and then lapsed. I'd like to do better at keeping them up, but I make no promises.

I started 2011 with French toast (not good for my diet, but very good for using up stale bread), and doing one entry on my blog with all the books I read this year (at least I did keep a list, though I may have forgotten a couple), with some commentary. I also put away most of the Christmas décor, but not soon enough. I heard Lilith making hacking noises. She had gotten at the one, tiny bit of tinsel around, which I thought was out of her reach. Ha. Nothing is out of a cat's reach when she puts her mind to it. Frankly, though, it's a good thing she did throw it up, as cats and tinsel do not mix well.

I was going to go out walking, but it's too darn cold. Yesterday, it was in the 50s, though it did rain. A local shop that I like was having a sale, so I bought a couple of things for January birthday gifts, and then I stopped by Borders, which was also having a sale and bought a couple of books. I saw the New Year in with a glass or two of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, drunk from their "Fleur de Champagne" glasses, which I've had forever (well, since 1985, when I got married), and chunks of fig & walnut panforte with goat cheese. Dinner was leftover duck (we went out with friends for Chinese on Monday and I have been living on the leftovers!) that I perked up with onion, sage and green olives and tossed with papardelle.

My book to start the New Year is East of Wimbledon, by Nigel Williams, who also wrote The Wimbledon Poisoner which I read a while back and enjoyed immensely. There is a third "Wimbledon" book, They Came from SW19, that I shall look for if this one lives up to its promise.

Because I was off three days Christmas week, and three days this week (counting yesterday), I feel as though I had an entire two weeks off, and then I'm off next week doing my annual trial advocacy coaching. They'll forget what I look like! Well, they can get used to that because, barring anything unforeseen, I'm going to retire this year, likely by midsummer.

Did you know that if you tell cultural institutions that you've remembered them in your will, they invite you to all sorts of interesting events? I've been invited to an opening at the Art Institute because I'm now a member of their "Legacy Society". For all they know, I've left them $10! They don't ask; I guess that would be crass. In fact, they're getting a share of whatever's left, and, as my lawyer said, if I'm lucky, I'll be old and have spent it all! When my sisters and I went for Thai food the other day, we got fortune cookies, and mine said, "You are going to have a very comfortable retirement." Let's hope it was right!
mojosmom: (Default)
Friday night, there was a going away party for one of our investigators, not that she's going far, just over to the Sheriff's Office, but still, we had to have a party! So I missed the Second Friday Open Studio at the Fine Arts building, but that's okay.

I was up fairly early on Saturday, because there was an estate sale I wanted to go to, primarily because I wanted to see the house! It's the gatehouse at East View Park, the only freestanding residence, a 1925 bungalow, and I've always been curious about what it's like inside. It's adorable, and if I had a spare half-million, I'd buy it. I did end up buying a few things, some throw pillows and a print. I had my eye on a couple of other items (an art nouveau-style lamp and a Japanese chest), but I have no place to put either, so I refrained. I also went to a rummage sale to benefit the Avon Cancer Walk, and bought a gorgeous black evening coat. I'm not sure what the material is but it has a really interesting texture. It's at the dry cleaners right now.

It was raining most of the morning, which was worrisome because I wanted to go to the Lyric Opera's annual concert at Millennium Park in the evening. Around 3:00, though, it cleared up, the sun actually peeped out and it began to get warmer. So I fixed a picnic dinner (poached salmon, potato salad, leftover edamame, tomatoes, with strawberries for dessert) and took that, along with a half-bottle of Riesling, and got down about an hour and a quarter before the concert began. The place was already packed, but I did find a spot to spread my blanket. By the time the music started, it was wall-to-wall people, quite literally, and the sidewalks on either side of the lawn were also full with standees. Very nice to see! And the concert was lovely, as always.

On Sunday, I went to the annual "We Hate Macy's, Bring Back Marshall Field's" demo:
Thank you, Field's!

This year, it was followed by an author reading/book signing at the Borders down the street, for Gayle Soucek's new book, Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago. There were several former Field's employees in attendance, and there was much reminiscing and nostalgia. Afterwards, several of us went to have a bite to eat and say more rude things about Macy's.

Yesterday, I went to another author event, also at Borders (though a different store). Tim Gunn! The awesome, sexy, charming and erudite Project Runway Tim Gunn. He was great, though the event was a bit chaotic and disorganized. There were at least 400 people there (based on 8 different colors of wristbands at 50 per color!). There was a Q&A for about half-an-hour, and then he started signing books at about 7:30 p.m. I left at about 10:15 and he was still signing books, and still being incredibly gracious to everyone. We have this in common: we both collect architectural pop-up books. Between the wait for the event to start, and the wait in line for signing, I actually finished the book!
mojosmom: (Black cat)
(snitched from [ profile] madame_urushiol)

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100.
Bold those you have read.
(Added: Italicize the ones TBR)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (Only partly bolded because I've read only part of the series!)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

the rest of them )
mojosmom: (Librarian)
Not the hair, which is shorter. The pile of books. I got there early, so I browsed the sale rack of the used bookstore next door. At $1 per book, I felt no qualms about picking up a pile (seven, to be exact). Unfortunately, when I then got to the hairdresser, I found that she was running about 20 minutes behind. Which meant that I had time to go to the other used bookstore down the block. I was very, very bad. Art books. Not as expensive as they were originally, but nevertheless nowhere near $1 per book! I told Meseret (my hairdresser) that I ought to bill her because that was a very expensive 20 minutes!
mojosmom: (Librarian books)
Yesterday, I went to a BookCrossing Meet-up. I hadn't been to one in a long time, as the closest is in Evanston, a suburb just north of Chicago, and it's not an easy trek from where I work. However, a BookCrosser from India had posted in the forums that she was visiting Chicago and, among other things, wanted to go to a Meet-up. I told her about this one, and she said she was going, at which point I rather felt that if she could come all the way from Delhi (via Clarendon Hills), I could come from Wheaton! I'm glad I did, because it was fun, I picked up a couple of books, and I found Prathi to be a very interesting young woman. She's in her second year of law school, and wants eventually to come to the States for an LL.M. in Human Rights Law.

This evening, there was a book event at my local library. Rebecca Janowitz was discussing her book, Culture of opportunity : Obama's Chicago : the people, politics, and ideas of Hyde Park. It was an excellent talk. She's obviously very knowledgeable on the subject, and is an articulate and amusing speaker. Of course, she was speaking to an audience that was also familiar with the subject. She began by saying that when she spoke to Hyde Park audiences, she talked more about the process of writing the book than the content, because she knew they'd all be thinking, "well, we've read that, you don't have to tell us again." Naturally, I bought the book.
mojosmom: (Default)
It's been lovely.

Friday night was a second Friday, which means Open Studio night at the Fine Arts Building. Every month, different artists have open houses, and Hodge the Bookstore Cat
Hodge, the bookstore cat
holds court at Selected Works Used Books. I visited a couple of the studios, bought a couple of books, and admired Hodge.

The Fine Arts Building is just down the street from Symphony Center, where I had tickets for the L.A. Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting. I had a bite to eat at the Bass Bar in the rotunda before the concert, which was fantastic. They played John Adams' City Noir and Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony, with two encores, the Intermezzo from Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" and the Waltz from Leonard Bernstein's Divertimento for Orchestra. It was quite delightful, particularly the Adams piece, a jazz-inflected evocation of '40s film noir.

Yesterday, I went early to the Hyde Park Garden Fair and stocked up on herbs: sorrel, thyme, Italian oregano, basil, dill, parsley, lemon balm, chocolate mint and spearmint, which I planted in containers on the back porch.

I had a few friends over for dinner (not the usual size crowd, due to scheduling conflicts and illness). I poached a fillet of salmon in white wine, and made a sauce from sour cream, thinned with a bit of the poaching liquid, dijon mustard, lemon juice and fresh dill. Served with oven roasted new potatoes with rosemary, and broccoli. My friend Margaret made a luscious frozen dessert involving pineapple and whipped cream. We killed a couple of bottles of wine, too. DeeJay won't be with us for the next couple of dinners, so she brought my birthday present two months early. Part of it was marjoram seeds, an herb I hadn't bought that morning!

Slept in a bit this morning, and will be off to the opera in a couple of hours, Jake Heggie's Three Decembers, with Frederica von Stade in her last Chicago appearance.
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
I went to hear Tony Kushner last night at the University of Chicago's Artspeaks program. He was interviewed by Charlie Newell, the artistic director at Court Theatre, which is currently mounting a production of Kushner's adaptation of Corneille's The Illusion. I could listen to him talk forever. "The only obligation an artist has is to tell the truth." And he certainly does his best to live up to that. He talked about playwriting and directing, why colleges should not have undergraduate theatre programs, family, psychoanalysis, and a variety of other things.

Tonight, I went to the local library for a panel discussion on Octavia Butler and Afro-Futurism. It was one of several programs going on to lead up to the premiere of jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell's Xenogenesis II: Intergalactic Beings , inspired by Butler's trilogy. In addition to Mitchell were John Corbett, music writer and co-founder of Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery, who is an expert on Sun Ra, who was connected with Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and also Madhu Dubey, a professor of feminist theory and African-American literature at the University of Illinois-Chicago. It was a wide-ranging discussion of literature and music. When I got home, the president of the Friends of the Library called and asked if I would do a post on their blog about it. I said yes, but I wish she'd asked me before the program so I would have known to take notes!

I've been going through my books looking for thin paperbacks to take to Amsterdam to release at the BC convention. If I were going straight there, it wouldn't be as difficult, but whatever I take, I'll have to haul to Florence and then to Amsterdam, so I'm trying to be circumspect. I'm taking a couple to read on the plane and then release. And I have to factor in the guidebooks and such. I'm also debating about which edition of The Inferno to take with me. I'm leaning toward my Dorothy L. Sayers translation, because it's a small Penguin paperback. The Pinsky is a dual-language edition, which I like, but it's significantly bigger, not as easily carried about. I suppose I'll make up my mind at the last minute, as usual!
mojosmom: (Turning pages)
I've been bus riding today and, as always, was reading on the bus.

First encounter: I was close to my stop, and had just put my book away preparatory to descending, when two women across the aisle addressed me. In a delightful French accent, one asked me where they should get off for the museum. I told them, and it was only after I was off the bus that I realized that the book I had been reading was A Parisienne in Chicago!

This evening, I went to an event sponsored by a criminal defense organization in memory of Clarence Darrow. Books were being sold, and I picked up a copy of Andrea Lyon's Angel of Death Row: My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer, which she signed for me. It wasn't until I got on the bus and settled in for the ride home that I opened the book and saw what she had written. It made me laugh out loud, and a woman a couple of seats away said, "Did you just see what they wrote?" I read it to her: "For Joan, who fights the good fight and looks great doing it." And the woman said, "I was just going to tell you how jazzy you looked in those boots!"

I do enjoy riding the bus.
mojosmom: (Librarian books)
You may remember that I wrote a while back that I had attended a poetry workshop at my local library. While there, I recommended to the group Stephen Fry's book, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within. Yesterday when I was there returning books, she came over and said, "I ordered that book you recommended!" Maybe I should make a list . . .

Cultural stuff )

shopping )

The board meeting itself was good. We're in the black, having made actual profits at seminars and the annual dinner, and membership is way up. We're planning a party, an "Irish wake for Clarence Darrow", which should be tremendous fun. We'd just co-sponsored a two-day forensics seminar, which I attended, and which was really an excellent program. So we are quite happy, and voted a raise for our executive director (not that she's making much - it's a very part-time gig - but she deserves every penny).
mojosmom: (Default)
I didn't do a whole lot this weekend. It's been a bit too cold to go wandering about.

Yesterday, I just ran a few errands, and went to my branch library for a book exchange. The idea was to bring 1-5 books and take home up to as many as you brought. However, the librarian running the exchange wasn't too keen on dealing with leftovers, so she was encouraging people to take as many books as they liked. As it was, I brought four and left with four, plus one book I checked out. I also made an Inter-Library Loan request for this book. We'd seen it at the Art Institute Museum Shop, and it looked very good, except for the price. ($99.95! Thank goodness for libraries.)

Today I denuded the tree, and took it down to the alley. I've boxed up all the decorations, but still need to take them down to my storage locker.

I've been reading a bunch, mostly light reading. I finished My New Orleans (first book of the new year), read an old Margaret Maron, Shooting at Loons (one of the Deborah Knott series), which for some reason had escaped me when it first came out, and The Lost Art of Gratitude, Alexander McCall Smith's latest Sunday Philosophy Club book. Now I'm working on Talking mysteries : a conversation with Tony Hillerman, which I'll likely finish tonight, as it's quite short.

Next week, I have the trial advocacy seminar that I always coach at, so I'll need to pick out my bus reading.

There's an Elia Kazan festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, so I may go to a couple this week.
mojosmom: (Default)
I took the day off work on Thursday so that I could get the house straightened up, wrap presents, and do what remained of the grocery shopping. The folks from the CSA dropped off my holiday order Tuesday night, so I had plenty of fruits & veggies, but there were still things like meat and bread and other odds and ends to get. Stacey got here shortly before six o'clock, and I fixed spaghetti with mushrooms and bell peppers and black olives and capers, plus a salad, for dinner. Then we hung out until it was time to go to the airport to get Cathy, whose plane, wonder of wonders! was actually nearly a half-hour early.

On Christmas morning, we had breakfast and then exchanged gifts. Cathy gave me the exhibition catalogue from the Guild of Book Workers show, Marking Time, as well as some lovely bath oils and a little ceramic bell in the shape of a tiger (because 2010 is the year of the tiger). From Stacey, yummy artisanal chocolates, a brooch made by a local (Cleveland) artist who uses bits of broken crockery, a letterpress calendar and a couple of small blank books.

Cathy and I gave Stacey the same book! It's Zydeco!, by Ben Sandmel. It was pretty funny, because she opened a gift and Cathy immediately started describing how she'd been to the Library Bookshop and seen the book and knew right away it was perfect for Stacey, and I said, "Wait a minute! You got her that, too?" because I thought S. had opened my present. Which she had, because I got her the paperback and C. got her the hardback. We were in stitches for quite a while over that one. I guess it goes to show that we are well attuned to each other's tastes, perhaps too well!

We had latkes and green beans and pork chops for dinner, and chocolate cake for dessert. Then lazing around reading books and listening to holiday music the rest of the day. (Cathy got a CD of baroque Christmas music, so between that and WFMT's broadcast of Amahl and the Night Visitors, we were fixed.)

Today we did a few errands and went to the local used bookstores, where I acquired Stendahl's Three Italian Chronicles as well as Nelle Carceri di G.B. Piranesi. Browsing Powell's, I also came across a gorgeous book from a exhibition at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, which I didn't buy, but might in the future. But it did reveal to me the existence of the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, which is now high on my list of "must see" places in Florence.

We lunched at a local Thai noodle restaurant, so had a light dinner of salad, carrots and a rice dish with onions and bell peppers. Grapes and pomegranate seeds for dessert.

I managed to smash a glass water pitcher when I was clearing the table. Not a valuable one, but a nice one, so it's a pity. On the bright side, it was empty except for a few drops of water.

I'm thinking that this will be my last year for a Christmas tree. It's too much of a hassle to haul it up three flights of stairs and try to get it straight in the stand by myself. I'm rather hoping some bright person decides to set up a "rent a tree" outfit like they have in a couple of other cities. Otherwise, I'll stick to a wreath and some pine boughs.
mojosmom: (Default)
Stacey arrived on Thursday, about the middle of the afternoon. I had assembled the vegetarian lasagna earlier in the day and, as we were both hungry, I put it in the oven as soon as she got in. That and a salad, with chocolate mousse (courtesy of Trader Joe's) made a nice dinner.

On Friday, we went to a couple of used book stores and both of us bought a bunch. I found one book I wanted that didn't have a price marked, so Doug checked Abebooks, and immediately started making snide remarks about parasitic booksellers. Really, look at the huge variation in prices, with no reasonable explanation. (He charged me slightly less than the lowest-priced copy on Abebooks, due to condition.) Yet another reason I enjoy O'Gara's is that you encounter things like this:

After the bookstores, we went and got the remainder of the groceries that I needed for my Sunday open house. Later in the evening we went to the opening of The Opportunity Shop, a transitory space for art in the neighborhood. Basically, they get a realtor to allow them to use empty store front space for a short period of time (this show is up for about a month), and a variety of artists just come in and hang their art. A good time was had by all, and then we went home for dinner.

The next day, we headed to the Cultural Center for a showing of Between the Folds, a documentary about paperfolding. This is not your grandmother's origami. The artists are doing incredibly complex and sculptural pieces. But it was also about the mathematics of paperfolding and some interesting applications of knowledge gained through folding. The film will be shown on PBS' Independent Lens series in December, so, as they say, check your local listings!

The film was followed by an origami workshop, but we skipped that to look at a couple of the art exhibits, the best of which was After the Storm, photographs by Jane Fulton Alt of the aftermath of Katrina. We also stopped briefly at the Art Institute, to visit the Museum Shop and say hello to the lions, newly decked out for the holidays:
Red & yellow-wreathed lion

Purple-wreathed lion

Sunday was my annual open house. As usual, a wonderful group of people gathered to chat, eat and drink, and everyone had a good time.

I took the day off from work today, and finally got to a couple of fabric stores to hunt up buttons. I have a vintage coat and a short jacket, both of which lost buttons and for neither of which I had spares. Having realized that I wouldn't find anything close to the buttons that came with the garments, I decided I'd just replace them all. But I'm going to save the old ones and find some other use for them.

This afternoon, I did something I've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't gotten around to. At 47th and Lake Shore Drive, there's a birding trail/butterfly sanctuary:
Prairie & high-rise

and just west of that, there's a viaduct with murals on one wall and mosaics on the other. So I took a walk, and took pictures. Murals & Mosaics.
mojosmom: (opera)
When I was at the Spertus Institute for one of the Chicago Humanities Festival events, I saw a flyer for a performance last Thursday by a group called Vagabond Opera. I checked them out and was very intrigued so I decided to go. Unfortunately, I got hit by a bad cold, and, although I did go, I spent most of the evening sniffling and generally feeling lousy, and left after the first set. Which was a shame, because I really, really liked their music! So I bought one of their CDs on the way out. Their music is sort of a combination of klezmer/gypsy/cabaret/jazz.

I did get home in time to curl up with a cup of tea and the finale of Project Runway. I sure hope Season 7 is better.

I was still a bit under the weather on Friday, but went to work anyway. Why? Because I'd signed up for a Wellness screening. How's that for ironic? Having it done means a break on my health insurance costs, so I didn't want to miss it. Mid-morning, though, I decided to head home, take a nap and hope that I would feel well enough later to go to Lyric. Which I did. That few hours extra sleep + cold medication helped tremendously. The opera was Verdi's Ernani, with Salvatore Licitra in the title role and Sondra Radvanovsky as Elvira. She was particularly stunning. I enjoyed the whole thing, even if it does have a silly plot.

Yesterday, I did a lot of errands, and started shopping for my annual Sunday-after-Thanksgiving open house. I also stopped by a neighborhood pet store where Hyde Park Cats was having an adoption event. (No, I didn't.) On the way home, I stopped at a couple of used book stores, and picked up some books on Florence (a history, some essays, and guides to the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio), as well as a memoir by Norman Hartnell (Elizabeth II's favorite designer) and another memoir of a Parisian concierge.

I'm off today to the grand opening of Open Books' bookstore, so I might do some more damage.
mojosmom: (Turning pages)
Randi Parkhurst, paper artist and bookmaker demonstrates her creation, PATIENCE. Original music provided by Laura Inserra.

Patience from Glowing Heads on Vimeo.

mojosmom: (Librarian books)
It's not often you hear such a question at an author reading, but, after all, the reading was for the book, Save the Deli, and it was held at Manny's Deli. The author's reading and Q&A was quite good.

Unfortunately, the author has hooked up with this really annoying guy who calls himself "Jelvis: the Jewish Elvis". If there's anything worse than a bad, middle-aged Elvis impersonator, it's a bad, middle-aged guy doing unfunny Jewish parodies of Elvis. He was wearing a white spandex jumpsuit with large gold sequin Stars of David on it. Oy.

Now, I'd figured I'd probably have some dinner there, but I did not anticipate free food. Corned beef and pastrami and rye bread and matzo ball soup and latkes and rugelach! Now, the Jewish deli in general may need help, but Manny's doesn't have to worry. It's going strong.

Everybody eats at Manny's!

(That's Mayor Daley and some other guy.)

And in the clearest sign ever that the neighborhood is gentrifying, Manny's now has valet parking!
mojosmom: (art)
God, I love this city. Where else can you visit eight art galleries on a moving elevated train? It's called Art on Track, the brainchild of a group called Salvo NFP, which places art in unlikely public spaces. You pay an entrance fee (unless you, like me, have a free pass), go up on the "L" platform, and wait for the "Art on Track" train. It goes around the elevated tracks in the Loop, and you can ride it as long as you want, changing cars at the different stations. Each of the eight cars has art from a different gallery or studio, and artists or gallerists are there to talk about the art/installations.

Installations and interactive art were very popular, as the venue lends itself to that sort of thing. Kids were particular fond of this bubble-wrapped car:
Bubble wrap installation, Salvo car

Other cars were simply used as display space for art, such as this one for the Flat Iron Artists Association:
Charlie Rees, Flat Iron Artists Association Car

After I'd enjoyed that, I had some time before my AAUW meeting, so I wandered over to the Art Institute to see the James Castle retrospective. I find his work oddly compelling. Profoundly deaf since birth, he never learned to sign or lip-read, though he spent several years at the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind. He was a self-taught artist who worked in isolation in the family home, and his primary materials were paper detritus (unfolded matchboxes, discarded texts) and a soot-and-saliva medium. He worked in the book format and created sculptural works, although his works are mainly drawings, often with human figures heads of objects, such as chairs. It's a great show, covering all aspects of his work, and thoughtfully curated.

I got home and went over to the shopping center, purportedly to run errands, but, in reality, to check out the used book sale. I just picked up a couple of books, because I planned to (and did) go back this morning when prices were slashed 50%. Tomorrow is $5 box day, so I am going to return. Then off to 57th Street Books to pick up my copy of I like it like that.

Winter is definitely upon us. It was quite cold this morning, though I expect the Marathon runners preferred that to the horrendously hot weather they had to cope with last year at this time. No need to stop the race early on account of the heat this year!

I have some vacation time that I have to use or lose. I will take a week off around Christmas when my sisters come to town, but I decided to take next week off as well. On Tuesday I will drive to Galena, come back Thursday to go to a benefit for Teatro Vista, and head to Springfield for a seminar on Friday. (Galena is a small town on the western border of Illinois, across the Mississippi River from Iowa, very scenic. It was the home of President Ulysses S. Grant, and has a lot of Victorian architecture. In fact, I'll be staying at a bed-and-breakfast housed in a Victorian mansion.)
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I wandered over to 61st St. Farmers' Market today, because I wanted to see the chef demo (seared flank steak with a Dijon/caper/white wine sauce). There was a vaguely familiar-looking young woman watching the demo, and I realized that it was Stephanie Izard, winner of the fourth season of Top Chef. Later, a former United States Senator showed up (she lives in the neighborhood).

Then I drove by 57th Street Books to pick up Audrey Niffenegger's new book, since I wasn't able to get to either of the two readings she did this week. While I was there, I picked up Granta's Chicago issue, and found a book about J.M.W. Turner by Peter Ackroyd on the sale rack.

Now I am taking a break from putting my summer clothes away and taking my fall/winter things out. I am also doing a ruthless closet clean-out and am planning to take a bunch of stuff up to the Brown Elephant tomorrow.

I've done a lot of theatre this week. Last Sunday was the first play in the Court Theatre's season, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Excellently done, with a riveting performance by James T. Alfred as Levee. A.C. Smith, one of my favorite local actors, was also in it. I spent a good deal of time coveting the shoes worn by Dussie Mae, high-heeled purple suede with black patent leather trim. (Similar to these or these.)

Wednesday and Thursday were plays at the Goodman Theatre. One of the people I go with works for the FAA, and travels a lot, so we had to exchange our regular tickets and the only thing that worked for everyone was to go two nights in a row. First up was Animal Crackers, based on the stage/screen Marx Brothers hit. Very funny, if just a teeny bit too long. Thursday we saw Stoop Stories, a one woman show written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith. She revisits the Harlem of her youth, and becomes several characters, from a concentration camp survivor telling of his meeting with Billie Holiday to a poet/junkie, from a Puerto Rican punk to an old man down in the Village to hear Nina Simone. It was a very impressive performance; Orlandersmith is a marvelous storyteller.
mojosmom: (Default)
waiting for the plumber. Kitchen sink backed up. Ugh. Sunday night rates. But there's no way I can stay home from work tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Oh, well.

I went to the 57th Street Children's Book Fair today, just to enjoy the weather and the action. But I managed to snag a couple of books, too. I must be serious about Amsterdam, because I found (for $1) a book called Teach Yourself Dutch, and bought it. I have no illusions that I'm really going to teach myself Dutch, but a few words and phrases would not go amiss.

Oh, look what's still cropping up on the used book tables:

Ack!  It just won't go away!

June 2017



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