mojosmom: (Food)
I had such a cute dessert the other night! I mentioned awhile ago that I had joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). They are doing tastings every couple of weeks from the produce available that week. One was this past Thursday. So after telling us we were getting an African vegetable stew and rice pilaf with apricots, raisins and almonds, the chef said, "And for dessert, French fries and ketchup." HUH???? What they did was to slice a pound cake into strips the size of fries (decent-sized ones, not those skinny things you get at McD's), crisp them in the oven, and sprinkle crystallized sugar on top to look like salt. The "ketchup" was strawberry purée. Wouldn't that be great to serve at a party for kids?

I had thought I'd go to Summerdance last night, but I was feeling a bit headachey, and it was threatening rain (which might have had something to do with the headache). When I got home from work, I took an ibuprofen and went to bed. A couple of hours later, I was awakened by a phone call from my kid sister. We had a nice chat, and the drugs and nap had chased away my headache.

Today, I went to a memorial service at the Newberry Library for Franklin Rosemont, Surrealist, anarchist, unreconstructed leftie, and publisher. He and his wife, Penelope, helped me find a home at the University of Michigan's Labadie Collection for the letters and other papers of my maternal grandfather that my mother had in her possession, so I wanted to pay my respects. It did go on and on, though. Nearly three hours!

Came home and had some luscious sweet corn for dinner!

Back home

Apr. 6th, 2009 08:27 pm
mojosmom: (travel)
I've had a very nice few days in Cleveland with my sister:
Stacey & Me

I got there Wednesday, in the late afternoon, and we just hung out at her place. On Thursday, she went to work and I wandered out to visit some shops in the neighborhood. In the evening, we went out for Thai food and then to hear some jazz - very traditional - and watch some old film clips of jazz musicians. Friday, it rained, so other than a brief foray to a nearby antique store, I lazed about drinking tea, reading and petting the cats. We went to some gallery openings in the evening, included three shows at the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation:
Opening at Morgan Conservatory

Saturday and Sunday we were busy bees. We started out with a tour of Cleveland's Playhouse Square, five theatres built in the '20s and now restored to their former glory. Due to the fact that there were productions in the bigger ones, we weren't able to go backstage, but that was okay. The volunteer who led the tour was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and had a lot of good stories. And the theatres were gorgeous:

From there, we went to Loganberry Books, not to buy books, but to eat them! Yes, they were having their Edible Books Tea!
Alice in Wonderland
There were some amusing and delicious entries. It was interesting that the entries here were almost entirely inspired by, and representing, a particular book, whereas the entries at the Center for Book and Paper Arts (where I usually go for the Edible Books Tea) are generally more inspired by the book as structure.

After a bit of dinner and then a bit of a rest, we headed out again to a concert of show tunes by the North Coast Men's Chorus. These guys were awesome! As Stacey puts it, "it wasn't just a bunch of guys on risers". They had some great soloists, a small group called the "Coastliners", dancers (including at least one potential RuPaul's Drag Race contestant), and they even brought in a couple of women. Surprisingly fun to watch were the sign language interpreters. They didn't merely interpret - they performed, particularly in the "Wicked" medley. The whole event was tremendous fun.

On Sunday, we hied ourselves to the Canton Museum of Art, for the Kimono as Art exhibit. We decided to get there by opening time, and it's a good thing we did, as by the time we got out of the exhibit, the line was practically out the door. Before we actually went to the exhibit, we watched some films they were showing about Japan, as well as one about Itchiku Kubota himself. Before you get to the kimono exhibit, there's another show of ceramics by the Japanese-American ceramicist, Toshiko Takaezu. These were displayed in beds of sand, raked to set off the designs of the pieces. A perfect touch.

On to Kubota. No mob scene here. They limited the number of people in the exhibit, so that it was never so crowded that you could not get near the kimono, which, thankfully, were not under glass. That was important, because the subtlety of these pieces, not merely in the gradations of color, but in the delicacy of design, the use of texture, directionality of the shibori, and the relationship of each piece to the next, was simply astounding. When you realize that Kubota spent literally decades recovering the technique of tsujigahana, a method of combining dyeing, embroidery and ink painting from the 16th-17th century, it becomes even more astonishing.

The exhibit begins with this piece, "San/Burning Sun":

inspired by the sight of the sun setting in Siberia, where Kubota was a prisoner of war. It is followed by pieces depicting Mt. Fuji in different lights, and several others, but the highlight is his Symphony of Light, thirty kimono depicting the passage from autumn to winter, each flowing organically into the next. They are displayed in a "U", so that you can see this. Kubota had intended to create thirty more kimono, representing spring and summer, and then twenty more depicting the oceans and the universe. He died before he could accomplish this, but his studio, run now by his sons, is carrying on.

That was enough for the day, so we went back to Stacey's and relaxed. I packed, and drove home today, skipping my Italian class because it's a six hour drive and I was tired!
mojosmom: (Music)
Sunday afternoon, I went to a marvelous concert! Countertenor David Daniels with the English Concert under the direction of Harry Bicket. The first half was Bach, the second half Handel. I have heard Daniels in performance at Lyric Opera on more than one occasion, but this was the first time I had heard him in recital.

Oddly enough, my sister saw him a couple of days earlier in San Francisco. Someone had given her a ticket, which turned out to be a front row seat. She told me two of the violinists were flirting with each other. I couldn't see that from Row P. Not that I'm complaining about Row P, mind! Particularly as mine was a half-price ticket. (Should your city be on Goldstar, I highly recommend signing up.)

I picked up Daniels' CD, Sento Amor, music by Mozart, Gluck and Handel, and, as a result, "Che farò senza Euridice?" from Orfeo ed Euridice has been running through my head all day. But if you are going to have an earworm, it's not a bad one to have!


I am headed to Cleveland tomorrow to visit my sister. She has planned an action-packed few days! The impetus for the visit (other than to see her) is the exhibit, Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota, at the Canton Museum of Art, but there's a lot of other stuff to do. I'll drive back on Monday, so I may be too tired to go to my Italian class, but I'm taking my homework with me!


Mar. 5th, 2009 09:49 pm
mojosmom: (Music)
I really need to be more diligent about posting. Here it is, almost the weekend, and I haven't said anything about last weekend. Which was musical. Friday night, I decided to take in a free concert at the First Unitarian Church, with the Women's Chorales of the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Lots of Fauré and a variety of folk songs. Very nice. There was a small reception afterwards. One of the chorale directors invited us to the reception saying, "If you have given up chocolate and sugar for Lent, we have veggies. And if you have given up veggies for Lent, we have chocolate and sugar."

Saturday, I went to hear Pinchas Zukerman and Marc Neikrug in recital at the Harris Theater, as I had copped a cheap ticket. Obviously, it was all music for violin or viola and piano: Mozart, Shostakovich, Takemitsu and Franck. Very nice.

Otherwise, it's been a quiet week. I actually managed to get my sister's birthday present in the mail on Monday. Her birthday is today, but I don't know if it arrived because when I called, she was out (partying, I assume)!
mojosmom: (busy bee)
Gosh, I haven't posted anything since last year! I guess that's what comes of a) having one's sisters in town, and b) coaching, as usual, at the Appellate Defender's Trial Advocacy program. Cathy, Stacey and I did a fair bit of running around. We hit the tapestry exhibit (among others) at the Art Institute (which was amazing - really too much to take in at once), visited the Smart Museum, had dinner with friends a couple of nights, and, oddly enough, went to a variety of bookstores. Seriously, the first four days of the year all involved bookstores. And, naturally, I bought a bunch of books.

I'd taken off work last week (except for Monday and a half-day on Tuesday). Stacey left on Monday, but Cathy was here until Wednesday. I must say that I got a bit spoiled having her here cooking! The seminar started Monday, and so for two days, I came home and dinner was waiting for me. Good dinner, too.

Today was the last day of the seminar, and so was just a half-day. I did a bit of shopping downtown (bought a pair of boots and a pair of shoes, both on serious sale, and partially paid for by a gift card), then came home and dug out my car. I haven't driven it since Monday night, when all I did was move it from the street back into my parking spot (which I'd let Stacey use), and there was snow Tuesday/Wednesday, and again last night and this morning. So I got a bit of exercise, and then walked to the bank (just two blocks, but more exercise! It's good for me!). There's a home décor store across the street that I like, but they have to move by the end of the month (the building they're in is having massive renovations) and are having a sale. I bought a cheese knife, which I actually need. Unfortunately, they don't know yet where they will move to, but they do want to stay in the neighborhood. I hope they do.

I went into complete panic last evening. I came home, and the front door of my apartment was open. Apparently, when I'd locked the deadbolt, the door wasn't completely closed. Lilith came to meet me, but Marissa was nowhere to be found! I was secure that she hadn't gotten outside, as there are two doors between her and the street, but she could get to the basement of the building, which is a warren of rooms, with lots of stuff stashed for her to hide in/behind/under, etc., including washing machines and dryers. I went down, couldn't find her, came back up and emailed everyone in the building. Then I grabbed my flashlight and went back to the basement. Fortunately, this time, as I was hunting, I heard a faint "meow". I kept still until it came again, and this time I was able to hear where it came from. I found her, huddled in a corner behind some gardening tools, her big yellow eyes even bigger. So I picked her up, carried her home, fed her and petted her, and vowed to be extra, extra careful with my front door!

I've begun another blog. I have been so remiss in reviewing/discussing books that I thought having a separate blog devoted to that would encourage me to do so. That's the theory, anyway. If you're interested, please visit Reading My Life Away.


Aug. 31st, 2008 11:39 am
mojosmom: (travel)
I drove to Cleveland on Wednesday to hang out with my sister for a few days. I got there at about 3:00 after an uneventful drive. It was a bit cool and damp, so I hung out inside with the cats rather than on the porch. I was a tad tired from the trip so we all had a quiet evening, just went to dinner at a local pan-Asian restaurant which was quite good.

Stacey was working, so on Thursday I took myself to the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is in the midst of reconstruction and renovation. So they were having a moving sale in their shop, and I picked up a couple of books (this will be a theme), one on the artist Bettye Saar, and the other on ebru, Turkish paper marbling. The weather, though a bit overcast, was cool and the rain held off, so it was a good day to walk around the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. They have a lovely variety of gardens, including an herb garden, within which are beds dedicated to culinary and medicinal herbs, a Japanese garden, a Children's Garden, and I took scads of pictures. Inside, they have a "Cloud Forest" room, with flora (and some fauna) of the Costa Rican rain forest. They release butterflies there and you walk around with butterflies and little tropical birds flying around. I got some photos, but mostly the butterflies were moving too fast.

In the Children's Garden is a koi pond, where I took one of my favorite pictures ever:

I also visited the Western Reserve Historical Society, primarily to see the exhibit on Louis and Carl Stokes (Louis was Ohio's first African-American Congressman and Carl was the first African-American mayor of a large U.S. city), but found that there was an exhibit of children's clothing (called "Short and Sweet"). It's interesting to see how clothing reflects the changing view of children, from miniature adults to childhood as a very distinct period of life.

After dinner at an excellent place called Luxe (I had a very yummy gnocchi with asparagus in a lemon basil cream sauce), we went to a friend of Stacey's to watch Barack's acceptance speech, which was, I thought, spot on.

My sister had directed me to go to Loganberry Books, which is a fantastic store! It's bright and big and roomy, and has scads of books, and the prices are extremely reasonable. After browsing for a couple of hours, I picked up a few goodies, including Louisa's Wonder Book, a work by Louisa May Alcott that was unknown until Madeline Stern discovered it after some bibliographic sleuthing. There's a bindery in the store as well, but they weren't open.

Directly across the street was a delightful café called Flying Cranes, which, in addition to the expected quiches, salads and sandwiches, serves Japanese food, such as teriyaki and udon. So I had lunch there in their big garden, filled with flowers, on a trellised deck. The street has a lot of antique shops, too, so I wandered about before heading back to Stacey's to enjoy a book, cats and iced tea on her porch: Swing
(The book is Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, which is huge! And which I managed to leave at Stacey's - really annoying - but she's going to mail it to me.)

In the evening, we went to an art gallery opening and stopped in at a nearby bookstore, where I found a huge gorgeous volume on ikebana for a ridiculously low price. Then on to Jazz 28, a small venue that has good food and live jazz.

On Saturday, we attended funeral services for Stacey's Congresswoman, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. Tubbs-Jones had a lot of "firsts" - first African-American woman on the Court of Common Pleas, first African-American woman elected a county prosecutor in Ohio, first African-American woman to represent Ohio in the House of Representatives (she filled Louis Stokes' big shoes). All the big shots were there - Barack Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Sherrod Brown, Ted Strickland and the list goes on. They eulogized her with warmth and affection and humor - she was obviously much loved. Two of the Congressmen who spoke, Kendrick Meeks from Florida and Tim Ryan from Ohio, came up to the podium together, as young men she had called her "black son" and her "white son". When they were done, her biological son came up and the three hugged for a very long time.

Inevitably, given the timing and a room full of Democratic politicians, you'd have been forgiven for at times mistaking the event for a Barack Obama campaign rally (though he himself confined his remarks to honoring her legacy). Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick, after a nod to the bipartisan composition of the congressional delegation, gave a rousing call to get out the vote for Obama, and Louis Stokes turned to Barack and thanked him, saying, "I'm 83, and two days ago you gave me something I thought I'd never live to see." (I had thought, when I was going through the exhibit at the WRHS, that it was too bad Carl wasn't around to see that day.)

But the most moving part of the event for me was the young lady who followed a boatload of high-powered, professional speakers - ministers and politicians - to the podium. A 16-year-old high school student, Tiffany Robertson described how Tubbs-Jones visited her eighth-grade class, looked around at the girls, and told them they were the future. She promised them that if they got their grades up, she'd be there for them, and she kept that promise. Tiffany called T-J "mom" and her son "brother". Not a lot of politicians get a eulogy like this:

With all those pols, it was not surprising that an event scheduled for 11:00 - 1:00 was still going strong at 2:00. We had to leave, so we could grab a bite to eat before I started my drive home, but heard all the special tributes (we figured that it would take forever to read all the resolutions and acknowledgements!).

I'm off!

Aug. 26th, 2008 08:38 pm
mojosmom: (travel)
I'm going to Cleveland tomorrow to spend a few days with my older sister. I decided to drive rather than fly, as it's less hassle and probably doesn't take much longer, once you add in going to and from the airport and having to get there ridiculously early. I expect I'll spend time hanging out on her balcony with her cats and a good book. But I'm also planning to check out the newly-renovated Museum of Art, and we have plans to got to the Botanical Gardens, visit a jazz club, etc., etc. We will also likely go to the memorial service for her Congresswoman, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage last week.

I'm not sure what computer access I'll have. I know Stacey was having some issues with hers and was relying on her laptop. If I have access, I'll stop in to say "hi!" Otherwise, I'll see you when I return!

Oh! The bookstore found the Beowulf! So I went over after work to pick it up. It's quite nice, especially for $1.50.
mojosmom: (Cathy)
Tomorrow is my younger sister's birthday (she's the one on the left in my icon). Since it always falls close to the Printers Row Book Fair/57th Street Art Fair weekend, I usually get her prezzie at one of those events. So last night, I was messing about on my craft table, and saw a bag from Aiko's. Hmm, what's this? I said. Well, it's the book I bought for her two months ago and completely forgot about. I can't get to the Post Office today, so it will go out Monday.

If anyone finds my brain, please return it. Thank you.
mojosmom: (Cathy)
Tomorrow is my younger sister's birthday (she's the one on the left in my icon). Since it always falls close to the Printers Row Book Fair/57th Street Art Fair weekend, I usually get her prezzie at one of those events. So last night, I was messing about on my craft table, and saw a bag from Aiko's. Hmm, what's this? I said. Well, it's the book I bought for her two months ago and completely forgot about. I can't get to the Post Office today, so it will go out Monday.

If anyone finds my brain, please return it. Thank you.
mojosmom: (sisters)
Christmas morning, and the usual exchange of presents. Only one book for me! But it's a beauty: Bookmarks, an exhibition catalogue. Cathy also gave me a subscription to Kateigaho International Edition, a magazine of Japanese arts and culture, and some lovely paper she bought when she was in Japan. Stacey gave me a pair of black velvet gloves and a black velvet scarf with embroidered roses. And, of course, we had the usual joke presents.

The weather was very nice - about 40ºF, no wind and the sun was out. So Cathy and I decided to go over to the Wooded Island for a walk. When it is cold and the leaves are gone, it is an entirely different experience. You can see the bones of the trees and bushes, and the dead limbs are no longer buried in creeping greenery. If you pay attention, you find all sorts of curious shapes. I was completely intrigued by the ice - the different colors and textures, and the way it formed on the lagoons and the ponds:
The Yin and Yang of Ice

Then we came home, and just hung out until it was time for dinner. The leg of lamb was excellent, as was everything else.

Boxing Day:

We decided to go to the Garfield Park Conservatory, where they are having their annual holiday show. The title this year is "Let it snow, let it grow", with white and silver plants and ornaments in the Show room. I'm not a big fan of poinsettias, but this variety, called "Winter Rose White", is utterly gorgeous!
Poinsettia "Winter Rose White"

Then we walked down to the Garfield Park Fieldhouse, a rather exuberant Spanish Baroque Revival building:
Garfield Park Fieldhouse
(There's some work going on; hence the scaffolding in front of the entrance.)

Lunch at a favorite noodle place in the neighborhood and a visit to Powell's Books, then back home. I made a classic chocolate pudding to take to Victor & Paul's for dinner. Paul had the day off (he works retail at a gourmet wine-and-food shop, so they are always crazy busy at the holidays)! We had Victor's mac-and-cheese (they save up the scrag ends of gourmet cheeses - this is not Kraft!), so it was an old-style comfort food meal all the way around. Victor will be on sabbatical the next academic year (2008-09) and is planning to spend it in Macedonia doing research. So we talked about my sisters and me going over there, perhaps in the spring of '09, and, with V. as a guide and translator, visiting the village where my father was born.


Cathy headed back to San Francisco yesterday. There was enough lamb left over so she could fix herself a nice sandwich and make everyone else on the plane jealous. ;-)) Before she left, she gave us each a 2008 calendar. It's an advertising calendar for Pearl® Soymilk, with a different drink recipe for each month, all of which Cathy developed.

Then Stacey and I went to visit some friends. We checked out their new digs (they've moved from a big loft downtown to a smaller apartment in Pilsen (ex-Czech, ex-Polish, currently mostly Mexican neighborhood), and we all went out to Greektown to eat. (Stacey doesn't like Mexican food, or we'd have gone somewhere in the neighborhood.)

This morning, Stacey went to the dentist, and I'm home catching up, watching the fluffy snowflakes, and waiting for the 4"-6" to hit. (I had to warn Stacey to move her car, as she had parked right in front of my house - a great spot, except it's a snow route, which means no parking if there's over 2" of the stuff.) I think I'll go run a couple of errands before much more comes down.
mojosmom: (Food)
I'm always happy when my older sister comes in at Thanksgiving, even though she drives me crazy sometimes (well, that's what sisters are for, right?), especially because she has to leave right after my Sunday open house to get back for work on Monday.

We usually have a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us (and the cats, naturally). I made veggie lasagna, and after dinner we vegged out ourselves in front of the TV. (No football; it was Ugly Betty and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.) Then we spent the next couple of days going to bookstores (oh, don't look so shocked), hanging out, and laying in supplies for Sunday.

The party went off quite nicely, and, as always, I'll be eating leftovers for a while (I'd rather have leftovers than run out of food). A sign of the times: a couple of people who work retail, and can usually get the day off, couldn't make it. Lots of places aren't hiring the part-timers for the holiday season this year. A couple of new faces, as I invited some folks from Casa Italiana. As usual, we took the opportunity to make some plans for Christmas week when both my sisters will be here.

Since the open house is from 1-6, everything is cleaned up and put away by 7:00, but I take Monday off anyway to put my feet up. Maybe I'll take my camera, and head out to finish up NoNoNoNo.
mojosmom: (Food)
I'm always happy when my older sister comes in at Thanksgiving, even though she drives me crazy sometimes (well, that's what sisters are for, right?), especially because she has to leave right after my Sunday open house to get back for work on Monday.

We usually have a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us (and the cats, naturally). I made veggie lasagna, and after dinner we vegged out ourselves in front of the TV. (No football; it was Ugly Betty and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style.) Then we spent the next couple of days going to bookstores (oh, don't look so shocked), hanging out, and laying in supplies for Sunday.

The party went off quite nicely, and, as always, I'll be eating leftovers for a while (I'd rather have leftovers than run out of food). A sign of the times: a couple of people who work retail, and can usually get the day off, couldn't make it. Lots of places aren't hiring the part-timers for the holiday season this year. A couple of new faces, as I invited some folks from Casa Italiana. As usual, we took the opportunity to make some plans for Christmas week when both my sisters will be here.

Since the open house is from 1-6, everything is cleaned up and put away by 7:00, but I take Monday off anyway to put my feet up. Maybe I'll take my camera, and head out to finish up NoNoNoNo.
mojosmom: (Kitchen)
Even if, like me, you aren't having turkey!

The onions and mushrooms are sautéed, the spinach wilted, and the tomato sauce is simmering. Yes, it's veggie lasagna for Thanksgiving, as my sister the vegetarian is arriving this afternoon.

I'm going to have another cup of tea.
mojosmom: (busy bee)
It really was a busy week. I've told you about the plays, and Miss Manners. Here's the rest.

Thursday night, I went to a going-away party for a co-worker who is leaving the office to join a local law firm, but left early to go to a reading at 57th Street Books. Kurt Elling (jazz musician and former neighbor) has published a book of his lyrics, so I thought I should pop in for that. Bought the book, of course!

Friday night, there was a lecture at Columbia College by Julie Chen, of Flying Fish Press. I love her work! After the lecture, I went down to the gallery at the Center for Book and Paper Arts to see the current show, "Reading, Writing & 'rithmetic", all sorts of old writing manuals, alphabet books, etc.

Saturday, my friends and I had what will likely be the last picnic of the season. I went that morning to the Green City Market to buy some veggies for the picnic, and while I was there I found some yummy Concord grapes and some Japanese sweet potatoes. I love the latter. I cut them into bite-size pieces, deep-fry them, toss them in a simple syrup flavored with soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Delish!

Sunday afternoon, I went over to the Hyde Park Art Center. They were having artists' receptions for a couple of exhibits. One was student work, and I didn't much care for most of it, though there were a couple of sketches that I liked. But I really liked the "Plate Convergence" exhibit. It consists of plates done by a local ceramicist, as well as historic plates from the Yamaguchi family. And there's a story! In 1592, the Ri brothers were captured during the pottery wars, and brought their art to Japan. The Yamaguchi family learned the art and have been practicing it ever since. Shoji Yamaguchi heard of the "Black Clay of Itawamba County" in Mississippi, and moved there in mid-50's, later marrying an African-American woman (They were tragically killed in a car crash in Japan in 1986, but their son carries on the tradition). Many of his pieces are specifically designed as containers for traditonal African-American foods, like this collards pot:
Collards pot

Then there was an exhibit that included some very cool altered books and book-like pieces. I liked these whimsical "Fungus Beast Books":
Fungus Beast Books 1,2,3

I walked back home via Harold Washington Park, and checked out the boat pond. They've just recently re-opened it with a nice new fountain, but there were only a couple of kids using it. I think it hasn't been re-discovered yet.

other stuff

I talked to my kid sister, who is doing well. She's just started her hormone treatment, and is busily planning a trip to Osaka in October. (Well, she's reading up on Japan, and leaving the planning to the trip organizers!)

Tickets for the Chicago Humanities Festival went on sale to the general public today! YAY! I was surprised, and very pleased, to find that members hadn't glommed onto all the Philip Pullman tickets. I'm going to hear him twice! AND Garry Wills. As well as a performance of Noye's Fludde (unfortunately, not the one at Rockefeller Chapel, because I have a conflict that day), a one-woman show about Hattie McDaniel, a performance of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with a reading of the sonnets which he wrote, and the closing cabaret concert, featuring songs about the weather! (The theme this year is "The Climate of Concern".) Now you may think that's a lot of stuff, but the fact is that I usually find a lot more events that I want to go to. Oh, well, it saves me juggling and rushing around.
mojosmom: (Librarian books)
What a literary weekend! Between the Festival of the Book
Festival of the Book
(and the accompanying exhibit, Action/Interaction)
at Columbia College, and the Printers Row Book Fair, it's been books and authors all over the place. Friday night was the opening reception at FOB/AI, with Audrey Niffenegger giving a talk. I did a quick browse of the vendors room, and went through the exhibition (though these will be up for a while, so I can go back), but it was mostly drinking, noshing and chatting.

Yesterday, however, I did nothing literary. I had friends over for dinner, so the day was spent straightening up the apartment, cooking, etc. We had a grand time, though there were not as many of us as usual, as a couple of people were out of town and a couple had family obligations. Lilith was a bit of a brat and threw up on Julie's shoes. Fortunately, they were sneakers, thus easily cleaned, and most of it landed on the floor.

More books today, though. I had committed to being at the Chicago Hand Bookbinders table at the Festival from noon until 2:00 p.m., so decided, after much vacillating, that I would take the bus and go to Printers Row first, do my stint, and then, possibly, go back to Printers Row. The Book Fair is set up on Dearborn Street, with booths on either side and down the middle, so the plan was to go down one side, with an occasional browse in the middle, and then visit the booths at the end. I would then go to the Festival and come back and do the other side of Dearborn Street. However, by the time I got done with one side, I was loaded down! Had I done both sides of the street, I would have needed a truck (or at least a cab) to get home! Got some good stuff, including a book for one of my sisters (which she may have already, she wasn't home when I called to ask, but at $2.50, what the heck). Sadly, Congregation Makom Shalom was not having their usual book sale. (They are on the same street as the fair and their sale is generally a great source of books for me.) For some reason, Ghirardelli Chocolates was giving away free samples. I'm not sure of the connection (I think it was a "life's simple pleasures" thing), but who am I to turn down free chocolates?

While at the Fair, I stopped by the Twilight Tales booth. I'm a huge fan of Tina Jens (she's the one on the left),
Tina Jens & Claire Cooney
and told them so (I'm continually pushing her books onrecommending her books to people. The guy I was talking to told me that they were having a "double debut" party at a local bar tonight, to celebrate the publication of two new anthologies (one of which I bought), in both of which Jens had a story. He also gave me a couple of copies of her book, wrote her email address in it, and told me that the next time I recommended it to someone, I should give them a copy! I had been thinking of going to hear Dee Alexander at the Checkerboard, but since I'd heard her a there a few weeks ago, I ultimately decided to pass on that at go to Villains for the book party. It was great! Not a lot of people, but a lot of fun. They were having a raffle, and I won a bunch of ARCs. I also bought the other anthology, in a deal with Jens. I bought the anthology and she gave me another couple of copies of The Blues Ain't Nothin' to give away. We really hit it off, and the next thing I knew, she invited me to a cocktail party at her house next week.

I had a great time at the Festival, though. Marlene, CHB's current president, and I were at the table, chatting up folks right and left, getting them to join (or re-up). I had the opportunity to do some serious checking out of the vendors (bought some single sheet books from Emily Martin), and again seeing folks I haven't seen for a while and catching up.

Now I'm home, and wanting to catalogue all the books I got tonight, and LibraryThing is down! Bummer.

Talked to my younger sister yesterday (I'd called her Friday night, which was her birthday, but she was out having sushi and beer). She's tolerating the radiation pretty well. She goes in for it after work (which she leaves a bit early), and either walks home, if it's good weather, or takes a shuttle bus from the medical center where she has the treatment to the one right near her house.


Dec. 17th, 2006 08:11 pm
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
My downstairs neighbor, ceramic artist Marva Jolly, had her annual sale/open house yesterday. I love her work. I can't afford her larger pieces, but she had works ranging from $10 to $1200. My favorites, though, weren't on sale. I picked up a couple of small ones, one from a group that were experiments on the way to something that hasn't been created yet. I'm thrilled to have a piece that's the beginning of the process. It reminds me of some Japanese ceramics I've seen, very organic, and, though it's pottery, it looks almost soft and fabric-y, like a small, squat drawstring bag. The texture is a mix of rough and smooth, and there's a vertical band through it, like an intrusive rock. I like it a lot. The other piece is very different, a small dish like a flower with the petals curving up to form the sides.

I'd arranged with my friend Victor that he'd stop by to return a bit of crockery, and then we'd go over to Jim & Kevin's together. He was coming over at 7:45. I decided to take a nap first, and thought I'd set my alarm for 6:30. Next thing I know, the phone is ringing and the clock says 7:30!!! (Turns out, I'd set the alarm for a.m., not p.m. I've never been so grateful for a wrong number! I dashed into the shower and was frantically dressing when the phone rang again. This time it was Victor saying he was running late. "Oh, good!", I said!

Jim & Kevin's party was excellent as always. The weather was very clement for December in Chicago, so we wandered out onto one of their terraces. It wasn't quite clement enough to stay out there long, but long enough to admire the view. (They're on the 26th floor of a building one block from the lake.) I was wearing the jacket I mentioned here and it was much admired, not least by a guy from the East Asian Studies department, who appreciated the Chinese look of it. Having had a fair bit to drink at Marva's, I was restrained in that area, but pigged on the food.

Today, I thought of going to see a film about Antonio Gaudí at the Siskel Film Center, but fortunately heard in time that there was a Bears game at Soldier Field, so decided to avoid that mess. And then I got very involved in straightening up the apartment. Really. I actually got some of the books off the floor, and neatened up a storage closet. This involved depriving Lilith of a box that had been sitting on the dining room floor and which she had taken over. Sorry, cat, I need that to put stuff in. Late this afternoon, I went across the street to a new home décor boutique, Style Central, that recently opened. The owner was having a poetry reading/champagne and nibbles event; she says she may do it monthly, and I hope she does. It was very pleasant. I indulged a bit, enjoyed the reading and bought a glass ornament. Clear glass with little bumps all over the surface that catch the light beautifully.

I have been madly organizing Stacey's visit, calling people and arranging get-togethers. So far, we're booked for an open house at my friend Caroline's, we've got Christmas dinner lined up, and two other dinners. Waiting to hear from one more couple. We want to go to see Hizzoner, which got a huge spread in today's Chicago Tribune magazine. I expect tickets will be in great demand, but I've got a connection (one of the theatre company owners is my friend Jamie's niece). Somewhere in here we'll rest.
mojosmom: (Fields)
I received an email from my older sister that she can't come in for Thanksgiving, but will be here at Christmas. So I'll have duck breast rather than veggie lasagna for dinner. But who will make the chocolate chip cookies for my open house on Sunday? That's her area of expertise!

My phone service was finally restored yesterday morning. Question: when service/delivery people give you a window of time for when they'll arrive, to they ever get to you at the beginning of the window? Because I swear they always get to me last!

Opera last night - Salome. Deborah Voight was in luscious voice, though the choreography of the Dance of the Seven Veils left much to be desired. Sets, lighting and costumes were fabulous. We all lusted for Herod's peacock robe and peacock feather headdress.

Because we'd changed our tickets to Saturday, and so weren't coming from work, and because it's a short opera, we decided to have dinner afterwards, and went to Starfish for sushi. (Warning: there's music when you click the link.) Being all very hungry, we ordered lots of stuff and shared. We had a good time and closed the place down!

This afternoon, I'm going to see Hotel Cassiopeia, a play about the artist, Joseph Cornell. There's a gallery right by the theatre (both part of the University of Chicago) that is displaying a few of his works, so I think I'll stop by beforehand.

Tuesday night is the annual Latke-Hamantash debate. I've marked my calendar.

I'm still feeling some aftereffects of being hit by that car. I'm having some pain in my right arm when I make certain kinds of movement, so if it doesn't get significantly better in the next day or so, I'm going to head back to the doctor.

Friday, of course, is the big shopping day. So has organized a protest at "Macy's". What the website doesn't tell you is revealed in an ad in the Chicago Maroon )the U of C student paper): "We will provide 1890's dresses & 1890's hats for you and your fellow students to wear when you join us at a fun, unique protest rally." I don't see how I can possibly pass this up!
mojosmom: (My House)
Beginning with the private opening of the exhibition A Movable Feast: Pop-ups, Volvelles, Tunnels, Flaps and Other Movable Books", a really wonderful show at the Center for Book and Paper Arts, tracing the history of movable books from Ernest Nister to Robert Sabuda, and including lots of stuff about process. It's accompanied by an exhibit devoted to the work of Vojtech Kubasta, the Czech artist and paper engineer. If you're in Chicago, you should see this show!

Yesterday, I went to the volunteers' brunch at Woman Made Gallery, which is always very nice. Good food, conversation about art, all that stuff. On my way home, I stopped at my local branch library. Now I know I wasn't going to buy any more books, but they were having a sale and I fell. But a dozen books (about half of them hardbacks) for $8! How could I resist?

Today I went to the Ginza Holiday Festival at the Midwest Buddhist Temple. I try to go every year. It's always fun, with artisans (some coming all the way from Tokyo, others local), the best chicken teriyaki around, and performances by dancers, karate schools, taiko drummers and the like. In the past, it's always been the same weekend as the Air and Water Show, but they moved it up a week, and I was able to find street parking! (This is a minor miracle in that neighborhood.)

Then I drove up to my friend Karen's. I was picking up the book I had in the CHB show earlier this year (K. has been our Exhibits Chair). Now, I ran into her yesterday at the WMG brunch, and we joked that had we known we were both going to be there, she could have brought the book. But she said, "That's okay. I'm purging my books, so if you want to look through them when you come, you can take whatever you want." And who am I to turn down an invitation like that? I took about five for myself, and a few I thought my sisters might be interested in. And then we loaded all the rest into my car so that I could drop them off for the Hyde Park Co-op book sale! I drove by there on my way home, loaded the four cartons into a shopping cart, and made the volunteer at the Co-op happy.

It's been a beautiful weekend to be out and about.

Hmm, just had a knock on the door. One of the kids from next door was looking sheepish as he told me that he and his cousin had been playing (his word, his mom's word was "rough-housing") on the back porch and knocked over one of my tables. He wanted to let me know that if it was broken he and his dad would fix it. The tables are just little wooden ones, nothing fancy. Looks like one of the slats on top did come off, nothing a couple of nails won't fix.

Talked to Cathy. She does want a couple of the books I picked up from K., so I'll send them out to her. And she will send me books on Venice. She's been there a couple of times, once during Carnavale. She hadn't actually planned to be there at that time. It was years ago when she was studying cooking in Tuscany. Several people were going to Venice, and she went with them, and then was there a few days on her own. And suddenly realized why there were people wandering around in costume. She said it was wonderful, especially the masked ball in the Piazza San Marco.

June 2017



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