mojosmom: (Default)
I've been flitting about a lot. )

Other things )

It's a good thing I'm retired and can sleep late. (Well, not so late. Lilith is better than any alarm clock. 7:00 a.m. sharp, she's patting my face, demamding that I get up and feed her!)
mojosmom: (Default)
There was an ice cream social yesterday for members of the Hyde Park Art Center. I went, only to find that it had turned into an ice cream sundae social! I had vanilla and neapolitan, on a brownie, with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. So much for dieting.
Serving the ice cream

Today, I spent well over three hours in the dentist's chair. First a cleaning, and then all the prep work for a new crown. She is replacing a crown that is (she checked the records) thirty-four years old! Got a fair bit of reading done during various bits of downtime, waiting for things to set.

I then went and met my friend, Eddie, for lunch. He is luring me onto the board of the theatre company of which he is the artistic director. I was able to eat, but just a cheese omelette, because my mouth was a bit numb. I turned down the waitress' suggestion of soup, as I didn't want to dribble! On the way to meet Eddie, I detoured to the Daley Center Plaza, where there was an Arabic festival going on. There were belly dancers:
Dancers swirlilng
as well as a fashion show, and lots of folks enjoying the sun. It's a good thing I stopped on the way to lunch, because, as we were sitting in the restaurant, it started to rain. After lunch, I went and renewed my city vehicle sticker (we were just down the street from City Hall) and then came home.

At home, I played with the book case I mentioned the other day, and have decided to move the four-shelf case into the sun room, return the three-shelf one and buy the five-shelf for my cookbooks.
mojosmom: (Librarian books)
A while back, Bookcrosser Kate Kintail posted about the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference (http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/5/6018758). I was tempted, and I fell. Saturday morning, I went down to the Hilton. Oh, my! There were several hundred exhibitors at the Bookfair, and I think I visited them all. See where she says about discounted prices and people shoving things at you? Well, all I can say is that it's a good thing one of the items shoved at me was a tote bag! I came away with lots of books and literary journals, as well as a great many poetry broadsides and catalogues, and had many an enjoyable chat with people. And, as it was Valentine's Day, just about every exhibitor was giving away chocolate:
Chocolate & frisbies

I hauled my books home and rested up, and then went back downtown to meet KK for dinner, at which we talked books and Bookcrossing, of course. I went a bit early, though, as I wanted to stop by Snow Days Chicago. Fortunately, the weather was a bit more cooperative for this event than for last weekend's "Frozen" Fun Fest. I missed the dog sledding, but saw a bit of snowboarding
Wipeout!
and admired the snow sculptures. The one below won First Prize:
A Bug's Life

Yesterday, I went to my monthly cooperative dinner, for which I made roasted fennel and carrots. There were only a few of us, but the food and company were good, and I came home with leftovers.

I'm off work today, and am being lazy. I've done a couple of loads of laundry, though I had to wait to get the sheets off the bed until Lilith decide to get up. Off later to my Italian class.
mojosmom: (Default)
In case you've missed me (and even if you didn't), I've been in Milwaukee for a few days, at a conference of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. (I tried to read everyone's posts from while I was gone, but if anything major's happened, let me know! I might have missed stuff. You guys are the writing-est bunch!)

The conference was excellent, despite the fact that, as usual, a couple of the speakers abused and over-used PowerPoint. Although I was familiar with a lot of what was discussed, I got a lot of new ideas and learned some fascinating stuff about sniffer dogs. A former boss of mine was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Friday's luncheon - and well-deserved, too. The meeting was at the historic Pfister Hotel; however, I did not stay there as by the time I called for a reservation (more than two months beforehand!), there were no conference-rate rooms left, and I did not think my office would want to pay $450 a night! So I was at the Hotel Metro just down the street, which was very lovely, with helpful and accommodating staff, and the most delightful roof garden:
Rooftop garden - Hotel Metro

There were, of course, some social events, though I noted on my evaluation that these should be held at conversation-friendly, smoke-free venues. There was a reception at a local trendy bar, and some jerk was smoking a cigar that permeated the entire place. Fortunately, it was a lovely night, and we took our drinks outside. But we shoudn't have to.

The big President's Reception was held at the Milwaukee Art Museum, in the pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava:
Windhover Hall

Totally fantastic building! And the setting, right on the lakefront, is gorgeous. We were able to go through some of the exhibit space, but I went back the next day to see more. And, specifically, to see the closing and opening of the brise soleil. They open it in the morning, close it in the evening, but at noon they close and open it (weather permitting) to the sound of music. So I took a whole series of images which you can see here, if you like.

There was a lot going on in downtown Milwaukee, including a jazz concert in Cathedral Park, part of their "Jazz in the Park" series. I had figured on going to the concert and then finding a restaurant (a lot of them have outdoor dining areas, which I like), but they were selling food and drink at the event, so I had a bratwurst, which is required food when you are in Milwaukee.

The Historic Third Ward was also having its annual "Summer Sizzle Jazz Festival" on Friday and Saturday, so I went there Friday after the reception, and again on Saturday afternoon, rather than leaving after revisiting the Museum that morning. There's a ten block area which is on the National Register of Historic Places, mostly former warehouses, factories, etc., that have been rehabbed and are now used as offices, retail, and residential property. There's a nice public market, similar to, but smaller than, Cleveland's West Side Market. Lots of street food going; I had seafood gumbo and roasted sweet corn.

I used to spend a lot of time in Milwaukee, because Mark and I had a sailboat that we kept up there. But mostly we were on the boat, and really didn't do much in the city. There seem, nevertheless, to have been a lot of changes since then (sheesh, over ten years ago!), and a lot going on. It's an easy trip from here, so another weekend visit is very likely in the cards for me.

When I got home, my latest impulsive indulgence was waiting for me:
mojosmom: (Hyde Park)
I did go to see Helvetica on Thursday. Fascinating little film, and nice to know that a documentary about a typeface can sell out! It was interesting to hear the different attitudes towards the ubiquity of the font, and learn how it was created. Funny how something considered brilliant and innovative when it first appeared now gets little respect in some quarters.

The weekend has been fabulous. We have had simply glorious weather, sunny, low to mid-70s, perfect for hanging outdoors. And since there were two neighborhood festivals this weekend, that was a very good thing!

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival )

57th Street Children's Book Fair )
mojosmom: (Food)
I went to A Taste of Greece on Halsted Street this afternoon:
A Taste of Greece 2007

It's one of those festivals where you wander from booth to booth trying to decide which luscious dish to have. I settled on the Greek Islands' lamb chops (half order of three was plenty!) with rice, tomatoes, olives and feta, washed down with a glass of red wine. Later, I had a bougatsa from Artopolis Café, a completely decadent pastry consisting of lemon custard wrapped in phyllo, served warm and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. Delish. Artopolis has wonderful bread and pastries, and before I left I bought a bread to take home.

The Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center was open, so I went to check it out. They had two exhibits going: "Nourishing Culture: Greek Immigrants and Food in Chicago" and "Remembering Generations: The Greek Immigrant's Journey", both of which I enjoyed. I also stopped by their gift shop, and found a book by Nikos Kazantzakis that I don't have. Well, didn't have. ;-)
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.
mojosmom: (Italian)
Just back from dinner at Franco & Gianni's - last Italian "class" of this session ("class" is in quotation marks because we didn't actually do any work). Lovely food, lovely evening sitting on their roof deck admiring the views of the city, lovely conversation. Most of our class, plus Giuseppe from another class and his partner. Daniella brought a Parmegianno-Reggiano from Italy. Lots of other cheeses. Wine. Prosciutto. Melon. Good breads. Chocolate. I'm stuffed.

Yesterday was Printers Row Book Fair. Yes, I bought books, what did you think? I spent a couple of hours at the Chicago Hand Bookbinders table. I brought some of my books to show, as did Becky. Lots of people stopped and asked questions, so we may have picked up a couple of new members. It was an absolutely perfect day, weather-wise. Sunny and warm, but with a nice lake breeze. It could be like that all year and I'd be happy.
mojosmom: (Default)
#40
The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s, by Wendy McClure

I was out and about today (see below), and found this book. The minute I saw it, I knew it was the perfect birthday present for my sister, who has acres of cookbooks, including some rather retro ones. This is not actually a cookbook, but a collection of Weight Watchers® Recipe Cards with comments by the author. (Cucumber "Cream" Salad: "You know, I don't think I want to know why the cream is in quotes." The pictures have that weird coloring that food photography had some 30 years ago, along with some very odd choices of props. For some reason, the Mexican Shrimp-Orange Salad is surrounded by ceramic bell peppers, cats and a frog.

Despite the spoilsports on BC who think you should never read a book that you are giving to someone else, I read it, and it's extremely mirth-making.

I would like to share with you one lovely photograph of a delightful-sounding dish. However, if you are eating or drinking anything, please swallow now. Also, if you have anything breakable in your hand, it might be wise to put it down. I have given fair warning, and will not be responsible for the consequences if you do not heed this advice. Herewith, I give you Crown Roast of Frankfurters!

The rest of my day

After a couple of errands this morning, I walked over to the 57th Street Art Fair, a venerable Hyde Park institution to which I have been going ever since my parents took me as a child. Established 59 years ago, it is the first juried fair in Chicago. Like all such, there are some fabulous artists, some real schlock, and a lot in between. I always think that the photography and the crafts tend to be the best. There were some stunning woodworking (I especially loved this work) and some beautiful (but expensive) textiles.

There's also a community art fair adjacent to this one, and there I did buy a couple of things. One was a scarf, a sheer bright orangey-yellow, with bits of turquoise, yellow, gold, light green and red floating in it. At intervals, there are thicker lines of green/yellow with loops. It's hard to describe, but it's very nice. I was looking and looking at it, and asked the price, sure that it would be too much. "$10", she said! "You're kidding!!!", I replied. And bought it. Now, if you had told me that I would buy a tissue box cover, I'd have said you were nuts. But I did. It's a piece of fabric that wraps around the box and fastens with two pretty little brass buttons, like knots of rope. The fabric is dark brown ultrasuede, but in the middle there is a wide strip of soft leather in a lighter brown, with calligraphy on it (don't know whether it's Japanese or Chinese). Really elegant.

The main fair is on the grounds of an elementary school and the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association for you non-U.S. types) has a food fair every year. Various local food merchants have booths, too. So I had a yummy, if messy, pulled pork sandwich for lunch. The school was also promoting their Latin program! Yes, kiddies, Latin in the second grade in the Chicago Public Schools. They were selling cards designed by the kids and mugs and stuff, so I got some cards for my sister who studied Latin in high school. There were a couple of the students there who were telling people about the program and were wildly enthusiastic! Nice to see!

I confess that, being on 57th Street, I went to bookstores. It's a failing, what can I say? I try hard to conquer my addiction, but it's too strong. I found a book by Blue Balliett, of Chasing Vermeer fame, from before she had fame, indeed, from before she lived in Chicago. It's The Ghosts of Nantucket: 23 True Accounts. I also found a book that is going to a certain BCer, so will say no more about that one, as it's a surprise. At Powell's, I became completely hysterical over Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback. Did you know that Lawrence Block, the mystery writer, wrote lesbian pulp fiction, including a book that glories in the title "69 Barrow Street"? Bought that and a couple of other things. And while it wasn't quite at the level that always happens to [livejournal.com profile] annulla, I did stumble across a couple of boxes labeled "Yours for the Taking", so I took - a Dramatists Play Service edition of Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine to read and release, and a book called The Gospel in Art by the Peasants of Solentiname. About Solentiname.

I took some photos at the fair, and was thinking about going to the Wooded Island to take some more, but my bag was getting rather heavy with books and such, so I came home!

Tomorrow, Printers Row Book Fair!
mojosmom: (Music)
I got up early and left at about 8 to drive out to Wheaton to pick up my book. Had I known that it was -8º F.,I might have stayed in bed! So it's a good think I didn't know. The lake, though, was astounding. There was a veil of steam over it, and big clouds sitting on the horizon line.

Anyway, I got the book, stopped at the library, mailed a couple of books and a postcard (my stuff gets to go to New Zealand and Egypt!), did some grocery shopping and then spent the rest of the day inside where it was warm. Got some stuff done around the house, listened to the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Aida, and made a blanquette de veau (fancy name for veal stew) for dinner.

Today I went to the Chicago Opera Theatre. It was a double bill: The Padlock, by Charles Dibdin, and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. The first is a very funny comic opera which has apparently not been performed professionally in over two hundred years. It's about an old man who wants to marry his young ward, who in turn is in love with a young scholar, and, of course, all comes right in the end. Unlike Dido. That was beautifully done. I'd never seen the opera before, though I'd seen the Mark Morris dance version. The set was quite simple, a black and gold chaise, and two walls and a ceiling made of a collage of Renaissance images of the legend. The costumes were black tie for the men and elegant satin ball gowns in shades of taupe, champagne, mauve, etc., for the women (except for the sorceress, who wore black). The voices were lovely. Suzanne Mentzner, always wonderful, was Dido.

Came home, made quail and risotto and a green salad for dinner, and have just watched Bleak House.

I have all weekend been plowing through a back log of National Law Journals and Guardian Weeklys. Next up, that stack of New Yorker magazines.

The Gay Games will be held in Chicago this summer, and it seems that some of the events will be held in my neighborhood, in Jackson and Washington Parks, and at the University of Chicago. So if anyone is planning to attend, let me know! (This happens over my birthday, so that's another excuse to come to Chicago, if you need one.)
mojosmom: (Music)
Jazz Fest was great tonight! I didn't go to anything in the afternoon; I decided that would make it way too long a day. Instead, I did stuff around the house, and then packed a picnic dinner and headed off for Grant Park around 4:00. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cool. I staked out a spot on the lawn where I could see both the stage and the video hook-up, and enjoyed myself immensely.

My Day

Sep. 3rd, 2005 09:08 pm
mojosmom: (Steinlen cats)
Mojo had his sutures out today, and was quite well-behaved (of course, it probably helped that the vet had him in a death-grip). He has also put on a pound, so we're very pleased.

I went downtown to see the Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre show at the Art Institute. I enjoyed it a lot, even though it was very crowded (and, of course, everyone crowds around those pieces that are described in the audiotour and ignores the very excellent pieces that aren't). I must say, though, I got a smile from the fact that, instead of the usual image of headphones to signal that a piece was part of the audiotour, they used a silhouette of a Steinlen cat! I particularly liked some of the early (1901) Picassos, and a stunning poster of Loïe Fuller. They had a roomful of Steinlens, including his famous poster for Le Chat Noir and his Apotheosis of Cats. As usually, none of the things I really loved were reproduced as postcards.

There was a wonderful photography exhibit going on, Paris: Photographs from a Time That Was, with works by people like Atget, Brassaï, Kertész and others. I also paid my usual visit to the Asian galleries, where there was an exhibition of prints from the first half of the 20th-century, City and Country: Views of Urban and Rural Japan by Modern Japanese Print Artists, as well as an exhibit of East Asian ceramics. That one was set up in a very interesting way, with an old and a modern piece using similar techniques exhibited side by side.

I had lunch there, and then walked down the street to Jazz Fest. I stayed at the Jackson Stage and heard some piano jazz. One of the pianists, who is Japanese, played a Mardi Gras Indians piece as a tribute to New Orleans. Late in the afternoon Von Freeman and John Young took the stage along with their usual group from the Apartment Lounge, and two members of the "next generation". I also wandered a bit around the art show that was happening in the Rose Garden, and bought a CD at the Jazz Record Mart tent -- Carmen McRae and Betty Carter Duets! I didn't stay for any of the evening sets, but I plan to do so tomorrow, when there will be an "Homage to King Oliver" to start the evening, which will end with a Charlie Parker 85th Birthday Event, with a couple of other good things in between.

Then I came home and did laundry (see, my life isn't always about culture!).
mojosmom: (Default)
Stopped by a couple of yard sales this morning -- grand total of three books and a gorgeous shawl. Then I tried to register the books on BookCrossing using pre-numbered labels. Oy, what a mess! Got the "oh bother" page, and the books ended up registered, but with no registrar's name. They don't show up on my bookshelf or by doing a book search, but I can find them entering the BCID. I've e-mailed support, but I doubt I'll get any help from them. I've thrown out my few remaining pre-numbered labels and will never use them again.

Went over to Carifete, had some jerk chicken and a coconut/pineapple/strawberry smoothie. Yum! Lots of vendors selling lots of counterfeit handbags, and a variety of jewelry and clothng, usual street fair stuff. The parade was late starting (someone said they must be on island time) so unfortunately I missed most of it as I had to head north.

I had a nice dinner with three of the XYZingers. Two on our "injured" list slowly recuperating. Fran is back at work after back surgery, though on shorter hours for the moment. And Caroline is looking surprisingly good after landing in the Emergency Room and then ICU and having emergency surgery for bleeding in her stomach (NOT related to the bypass -- it was too much Aleve). But they are both well enough to go to Peggy's wedding, and C. will still be able to do the food. P.'s asked me to be a greeter at the church, so of course I said "yes".

P. gave me a late birthday present, a book on making shoji screens! Not that she or I expect that I'll do that, but if I ever get around to having that closet built, I can point and say "that's what I want".

I got a call from the Rosemonts at Charles Kerr Publishing. The Labadie Collection needs a letter from me to okay the display of the Engdahl correspondence (that we donated after mother died) and allowing access by scholars. I seem to be Louis' "literary executor" by default. Penelope seems to think they may put the letters on-line as well, which would be very cool.

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