mojosmom: (Gautreau)
I didn't do much for New Year's Eve. I never do, as I'm too old to enjoy going out and getting drunk just because it's 12/31. And I'd like to avoid people (particular drivers) who think that's a good idea. So I stayed home, made a nice mushroom risotto, and watched a couple of Thin Man films on TCM. And here's an odd coincidence! The answers to the NYT crossword this morning included "risotto" and "Nora" (as in Nora Charles). How weird was that?

The Saturday before Christmas, I did something incredibly stupid. I needed to put something on a high shelf in my bedroom, and instead of getting the step-stool I stood on a chair - a chair that swivels. Dumb! Because it moved, and I fell and hurt my back. Fortunately, I didn't break anything, but I had some very colorful bruises and had to go very, very easy in my workouts, and finding a comfortable sleeping position was not easy. I'm very grateful for the existence of ibuprofen. Much better now, but I can't believe I did something so idiotic.

Both my sisters were in town for a week over Christmas, and while I like having them here, it was also nice to get my house all to myself again. We did the usual rounds of the local bookstores, had dinner with friends a couple of evenings, and went to the Art Institute, and the Cultural Center to see the Architecture Biennial. I took them over to Robie House on one of the days it's closed for public tours so I could show them around without worrying about running into, or being run into by, a tour. They both left last Sunday, which turned out to be an excellent plan, as Monday was godawful weather. Sleet and winds gusting to 60 mph. Cathy, who flew, probably wouldn't have gotten out at all. Stacey takes the bus, and I'd have been worried about the roads.

Things have been pretty quiet since then. I went to see two films at the Siskel Film Center, Gaudi and Sagrada, with the woman whom I'm going to room with on my trip to Barcelona in late October. I see I haven't said anything about that plan! Last February, I went to Pasadena with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's TravelWright program. It was incredibly well-organized, and when I learned they were doing a trip to Barcelona and Bilbao, I knew I wanted to go. It's pricey, though, so I really wanted to find a roommate so I could avoid the single supplement. I mentioned it to a woman who was on the trip I did to Italy in 2014, and she was interested, so we're going together. I decided the expense was fully justified by things like "private after-hours tour of Sagrada Familia"! Barcelona has long been at the top of my list of "must go" places, so I'm excited!

While I was at the Siskel, I bought tickets for some other films. I always find their offerings to be either feast or famine, and January is definitely a feast. I'm seeing A Ballerina's Tale tomorrow, then Rosenwald and Suffragette on Sunday and Monday. My friend Jeanne gets back from a trip next week, and we've got a couple of other films on our agenda.

Had a lazy day today. Everything is closed, so I just did some stuff around the house and heated up some leftover meatball stroganoff for dinner.
mojosmom: (Gautreau)
Is everyone ready for the holidays?

I had pretty much all my shopping done, other than random, impulsive stocking-stuffer type purchases, or at least I thought I had! I have friends with whom I exchange gifts, and waaaaaay back in November I was at World Market and saw some nice mugs with initials. I decided to buy these but a couple of the initials I needed were on a high shelf, so one of the sales people got them down for me. "Give me two Ds and a C", I said. And I put them in the cart, paid for my purchases, which were nicely wrapped in tissue paper, went home, and shoved the bag in a closet. Fast forward to Thursday, when I decided to wrap presents. And discovered that I had two Cs and a D. I went back to World Market, and, of course, they no longer had anymore Ds. However, they say they'll get more in and will call me, and one of the people who has that initial won't be with us the day we do the exchange, so I have time. But I do wish I'd checked sooner!

Both my sisters arrive tonight, and we are making plans. We'll go to friends on Tuesday for the traditional gourmet mac-and-cheese, vespers at First Unitarian on Christmas Eve followed by our traditional latke dinner, and dinner with other friends on the 26th.

There have been a slew of parties this year - last Saturday I had two in one day, an afternoon open house and an evening dinner.

I've been to a couple of really good music performances lately. I mentioned in my last that I was going to hear Judas Maccabeus, and it was a rousing good performance! I've also been to Bel Canto, the opera commissioned by Lyric Opera based on Ann Patchett's novel. Really excellent, particularly when you consider that neither the composer, Jimmy Lopez, nor the librettist, Pulitzer Prize playwright Nilo Cruz, had ever written an opera before! Thankfully, they eliminated Patchett's ridiculous epilogue, which was a real clunker. The singers were splendid, particularly countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo as César and mezzo J'nai Bridges as Carmen. Loved the set and lighting as well.

Then I went to a recital with Patricia Barber and Renée Fleming, Fleming singing mostly Barber's music, arranged as art songs, with sometimes Barber and sometimes Craig Terry and sometimes both accompanying on the piano. Barber's quartet also played, and we did get to hear her sing, though not enough for my taste! They sang together as well, notably a bunch of Christmas songs. The only real failure was Fleming's singing of You Gotta Go Home. But it was a grand and successful experiment in joining jazz music and classical singing.

As part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the S.C. Johnson Company sponsored trips up to Racine for tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Administration Building and the Research Tower (recently opened for tours). They provided buses from the Chicago Cultural Center up to Racine and back. On most weekends, you also get to see Wingspread, designed by Wright for Hibbert Johnson and his family, and now a conference center. It's all free! So I did that last weekend, and it was a great treat. Kudos to the Johnsons for hiring Wright in the first place, and for appreciating what they have and sharing it.
mojosmom: (Default)
I am finding this year that I am attending far more holiday events than in the past. This is, I am sure, due to the fact that the logistics of going to and fro are easier now that I am retired. Depending on where I'm going, I can use public transportation and not worry about parking (where & how much!). I can go to events that start early or end late, without having to think about work hours. So I'm very social!

I went to two bar-related events last week. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers had a cocktails/hors d'œuvres/recruiting event one day, and the next my law school had a cocktails/hors d'œuvres event. I dashed from that second one to the December Second Friday Open Studios at the Fine Arts Building. Turned out that, because of the holidays, a lot more studios were open than usual, and there were some additional musical and performance things going on. There was a partridge in a pear tree:
A Partridge in a Pear Tree!

and the Venetian Courtyard was open!
Venetian Courtyard

On Saturday, my AAUW chapter had its December/holiday meeting, and that night I went to the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus "Holly Follies" at Rockefeller Chapel.

On Sunday, I went to the Jazz Institute's members party and then to Casa Italiana's Festa di Natale. At the Jazz Institute party, I ran into a former colleague of mine whom I haven't seen in years, and the odd thing was that at one of the bar events, someone else who knew her and I were wondering what she was up to. So now I know, and we exchanged emails and will keep in touch.

Monday, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre had a "thank you" reception for the Saints, and while I was there I signed up to usher at a couple of productions next year. Then off to the Poetry Foundation for a reading of Christmas poems, including Talking Turkey, a highly amusing poem. The reading was followed by noshes and drinks.

If I end up looking like Santa Claus (that is, fat!), you know why!

In non-holiday stuff --

98.7 WFMT

Yesterday was the 60th birthday of our local classical radio station, 98.7 WFMT, so they had a day of music (ten hours) at the Cultural Center. I was able to get there for the first three hours (but had to get home for a couple of conference calls for boards that I'm on). I missed Nicole Cabell, but was there for harpsichordist David Schrader, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Lincoln Trio, the Orbert Davis Quintet, and tenor Rene Barbera.

I've also been to usher for In the Jungle, an adaptation of a Bertolt Brecht play that is benefiting the Howard Brown Health Center. A worthy cause, but I think there's a reason this Brecht play is not frequently produced. It's not his best.

I spent a long evening at the Gene Siskel Film Center, too, seeing two John Turturro films in one sitting: La Passione, about Neapolitan music (and history and society), and Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy, dealing with the puppet theatre there. Both excellent!

A variety of Teatro Vista-related events: a reading of a new play that will probably be part of the Tapas reading series in the spring, lunch with a prospective board member, and a workshop with grant funders.


Dec. 5th, 2011 02:11 pm
mojosmom: (Default)
The holiday season is now in full swing, with lots of shopping opportunities. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust has a shop in The Rookery, a Burnham and Root designed office building with later renovations by Wright. They had an event a few days ago with choir, champagne and sweets, and tours, so how could I pass that up? I used it more as a photo op than a shopping op, though:
University of Chicago Motet Choir
(More pretty pics here.)

Yesterday, my friends Barb and Patrice, a bookbinder and potter respectively, had their annual open house cum sale. I enjoyed their gingerbread cake and hot cider, and bought a nice garden journal for my sister and a small, lidded casserole dish for me.

Saturday was the Hyde Park Art Center's auction, "Party with an Artist". It was fun, and my neighbor Marva, also a potter, had a piece up for auction. (I'll be going to her open house/sale next weekend!) There were several pieces that intrigued me, but starting bids on most were a bit rich for my blood. However, I did successfully bid on one, an abstract (not my usual!) piece called "Among the Rafters":
Among the Rafters, Holly Cahill

As I was leaving the house to go there, I saw three boxes of books sitting by the dumpster. My initial excitement faded, however, when I realized that they were almost all out-of-date economics textbooks. However, I did retrieve two Harvard Classics volumes: Charles Dana's Two Years Before the Mast, and Twenty-Four Years After, and a volume with bits of Plato, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.

One of the things that I decided to do once I retired was to join The Saints, an organization of volunteers for the arts, to do some ushering. I did my first event on Saturday, at a performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors by the Chicago Chamber Opera, at the main library. That opera is one of my earliest television memories, being the very first show I saw on the first television my family owned. It was stage-directed by Menotti's son, Francis, and choreographed by Dame Libby Komaiko. I sniffled, as always.

In other things operatic, we went to Ariadne auf Naxos at Lyric on Friday, and enjoyed it tremendously.

Today, I dug up my rosemary from the planter on the back porch, put it in a pretty pot, and brought it indoors to sit on my kitchen window sill:

Apropos of nothing, just because she's cute:
Table décor
mojosmom: (My House)
I picked Cathy up at the airport on Tuesday evening. Her plane was late, having been delayed leaving SF, which meant hanging around the airport longer than anticipated. What I had forgotten was that there is no place at all at Midway to sit down and have a drink or a cup of tea outside the security perimeter, which is ridiculous. Fortunately, I had a book with me (I know, big surprise).

We went up to the Green City Market on Wednesday, and picked up a few things, though not a lot of veggies as Stacey had warned me that she would be bringing a bunch. Then we pretty much relaxed, and Cathy made chicken with a mushroom sauce for dinner. Thursday, Cathy wanted to go to the neighborhood used bookstores, so why was it that I came home with books and she didn't? Stacey arrived in the late afternoon and we had latkes for dinner. I know, I know, you're supposed to have those at Hanukkah, but it's become rather a tradition for us. We all stayed up late to watch White Christmas.

On Friday, we all went downtown to the Christkindlmarket. I bought myself a pair of earrings and Stacey bought some cute tree ornaments for a friend of hers. It seems to me as though every year there are more food stalls, but we did not indulge. We were going to go to the Cultural Center, but they were closed, so we headed to the Art Institute. It was pretty empty, which was actually rather nice. Cathy wanted to see the new Asian galleries, and Stacey the photography galleries, so we did that and then had a cup of hot chocolate in the members lounge. Dinner was butternut squash ravioli with a light zucchini cream sauce. Then Stacey made chocolate chip cookies (also a tradition).

Christmas morning Cathy made pancakes. Delish. Presents were exchanged. Best: Stacey gave me dried herbs from her own garden and Cathy gave me a gorgeous book of paper crafts/art, Paper: Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Cut. The latter may cost me as one of the items in it is this pop-up book that is really a lamp! I am very tempted.

Dinner involved roasting: lamb, Yukon potatoes (I now know Cathy's trick for getting them nice and crispy), and beets, plus salad. Chocolate mousse for dessert.

We are headed out later today to another bookstore, and dinner tonight at a friend's. We are bringing a flourless chocolate cake. It's so nice to have a sister who's a chef!

Cathy is staying until Tuesday and Stacey until Wednesday. I had originally intended to take off Wednesday and Thursday of this week (Friday the office was closed), and go back to work on Monday. But I realized that I really had nothing going on early in the week, so I will take off Monday and Tuesday as well.
mojosmom: (Flower)
Rockefeller Chapel at yesterday's Christmas Eve service:

Dressed for Christmas
mojosmom: (Default)
I had, as usual, a quiet New Year's Eve. I'm not a big party-goer, at least not the sort of craziness that happens New Year's Eve. Sometimes I go to the community event, but it was cold and snowy and so I decided to stay indoors. I popped open some champagne at midnight (the good stuff - Veuve Cliquot - as I had an unused discount at the liquor store and decided to be extravagant), but that was about the extent of my celebration.

It was interesting to do the book poll and the "year in pictures" meme. Funny how much I've forgotten about the past year, and fun to go back and remember.

I slept late, and around noon decided to go out and clear the snow off my car so I wouldn't have to do it tomorrow morning. Having grabbed my camera, I went to a nearby park with the intention of walking around and taking lots of pictures. It was too darn cold, though, to plod through the snow for very long. I contented myself with just a couple of shots, and came back home into the warmth.

But aren't these guys cute?
Hey, it's COLD!

And here are my latest over at [ profile] croc_sandwich
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: (poetry)
I read this poem yesterday in Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking The Poet Within (great book, by the way), and knew I had to share:

More about Benjamin Zephaniah


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: (My House)
Dinner at Julie's last night was excellent, as always. Turkey moist and delicious, Fran's yummy sweet potatoes, also mashed potatoes, a variety of veggies, etc. No cranberry sauce, though; Julie, being Swedish, requires lingonberry! My pumpkin pudding turned out very well. Gifts were exchanged; as usual, Caroline had been madly baking and supplied us all with cookies to last, well, at least until her open house!

Today I did a bit of holiday decorating. I'm not doing a tree this year; my arm hurts too much to haul a tree up and down three flights of stairs and through the apartment, not to mention manœvering it into the stand and then decorating it. I've put a wreath over the fireplace, and I think I may get some garland, if there's any left at the place I usually get my tree. C. had packed her cookies in a box which she put in a dark pine green metal sleigh, so I filled that with tinsel (red, and white/gold), put a variety of red and white ornaments in it, and put it on the table on the landing outside my door. (With cats, tinsel is verboten where they can get at it.) There are a few more things I want to do, putting candles in the front windows and the like. Or maybe I'll just let Stacey do it when she comes in!
mojosmom: (Steinlen cats)
and I've been up and mixed and stirred and put a pumpkin pudding in the oven! I was going to do it last night, but went to two holiday parties and didn't get home until nearly 11:00, so decided to get up early instead.

It's been a week of parties. I've already journalled about Tuesday's. On Wednesday, there was a retirement party for one of the court interpreters. I am so sad to see her go! She and her husband are off to Texas, to be near their kids and grandkids. Aside from being an excellent interpreter, she's one of the best people I've ever met. So kind and caring and helpful. The party was huge, and so many people who no longer practice in the court system came (retired judges, attorneys who now practice elsewhere) in addition to those who work with her now. Though I was pretty annoyed (still am) with the State's Attorney's Office; I think a grand total of three of them showed up, and that did not include any of the top brass. Tacky, very tacky. Heck, even my boss, who never comes to these things, came. Everybody chipped in and we got her travel vouchers, as she wants to travel to Europe. She will definitely be able to go in style now, as the woman who organized the gift is very good at twisting arms! (Just kidding, she didn't need to.)

Thursday I didn't go anywhere. As I said to a colleague, I had to have one evening off to buy groceries to make the pumpkin pudding mentioned above.

Yesterday was our unofficial office party. We don't have an official one (Bob, as I mentioned, is asocial), so a bunch of us gathered informally at a local restaurant. I only stayed for a short time, because I had another party at the Casa Italiana, which was tremendous fun! I didn't make it there last year due to a major blizzard, so I was glad to get there this time. Excellent food, excellent wine, "Italian karaoke", and some lovely flute & violin duets. Not to mention a raffle! I won a poster of Italian wines, and someone who won a gift certificate to a restaurant passed it on to me because she didn't think she could use it. The guy who taught the very first Italian class I took, and who referred me to Casa Italiana, was there, wearing a sparkly elf hat.

Later today, I'm going up to my friend Julie's for turkey and trimmings, my monthly dinner group's holiday celebration (hence, the pudding).
mojosmom: (Steinlen cats)
Thanksgiving Day was lovely, thanks to the lovely [ profile] tzurriz, who, when she heard that my sib wasn't going to make it in, invited me to join her family, including her mother (the lovely [ profile] dreamsweaver), who is an absolutely delightful hostess. Now, I'm going to make their ears burn and say that [ profile] tzurriz' family is one of the warmest and most welcoming it has ever been my pleasure to meet. They've also got a few good cooks, too. So I stuffed myself on turkey and the usual accoutrements, enjoyed the conversation, and generally had a good time. And when I moaned about having to go shopping for weights the next day (for the exercise referred to in my previous post), [ profile] dreamsweaver dug out a couple and saved me from the horrors that are stores on the day after Thanksgiving!

I did brave downtown Chicago the next day, but only to take some pictures of the wreathed lions at the Art Institute, and the protest demo at Macy's (f/k/a Marshall Field's), at which a number of ladies dressed in 1890's garb.

That evening, I went to Gounod's Romeo and Juliette at Lyric Opera. The Romeo was lush (Matthew Polenzani), with the equally good Dina Kunetsova as Juliette. I'm not sure why it was updated to the 1850's, but it didn't detract from anything (though I thought having the Mercutio/Tybalt/Romeo knife fight end in Romeo suddenly pulling out a gun and shooting Tybalt was a bit out of character).

Saturday was spent straightening up the house, doing some (grocery) shopping, and otherwise getting ready for my annual Sunday-after-Thanksgiving open house. Despite the lack of my usual chocolate-chip-cookie-baker (i.e. my sister), we did have the cookies, though I cheated and bought the refrigerated dough. Couldn't have been too bad, because there aren't any left! A couple of people who hadn't been able to make it the past few years did make it this year, my friend, Victor, was back in the country and came despite his jet lag, the lovely [ profile] tzurriz and the lovely [ profile] jfroebe trekked in from the south suburbs, and (I think) a good time was had by all. The cats were fairly well-behaved, though one of them (I'm betting it was Marissa, as she seems to think that paper exists for her to attack) destroyed the paper napkins I had put out. Late in the afternoon, when most of the food was picked over and the few remaining guests and I had adjourned to the living room, I heard my friend Cheryl and her daughter in peals of laughter. It seems that Lilith had ensconced herself on the dining room table, not going after the leftovers, but carefully draping herself around the serving platters! Cheryl's husband Leonard whipped out his camera and I have been promised a picture. And I would like to thank the makers of paper plates, napkins and cups for making clean-up a breeze. ;-))

Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving weekends, too.
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: (japanese icon)
Gorgeous weather today! I got up and went around the apartment throwing open all the windows. A nice change from yesterday's hot, humid and stormy. I was also rather productive today. Aside from the laundry, I got a fair bit accomplished on the book I'm working on for submission to the One Book, Many Interpretations show. I also painted the rusty planter that I have on the back porch. I've been intending to do it for a while, but with the weather as nice as it was, and the forecast for the next couple of days also good (i.e. no rain), it was the perfect day for it.

Around 11 a.m., I went downstairs to watch the neighborhood Fourth of July parade go down the street. The usual politicians dressed as Betsy Ross, the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam, and the usual bagpipers, horses, school bands, kids on bikes, anti-Bush posters, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I took a bunch of pictures and, having now finished the roll, will post them on Flickr as soon as I get the CD/prints back.

Late this afternoon, I traipsed out to the south suburbs because the husband of a friend was having a birthday. His brother came in from Indiana bringing his grill with him. And, oh, what a grill! It's nicknamed "The Enterprise", has a grilling surface approximately 4' x 5', a chimney to adjust the smoke, and all sorts of other stuff. He made it himself. He'll make you one for a mere $325. Judging from the barbecue we had, it's an excellent grill! Even aside from the food, the party was fun. Nice mix of folks, good conversation.

This was, as usual, the second Fourth of July, the first being on the Second of July, as that's the day Waukegan had their parade. I went up there to join my friends at the parade and then for dinner at Julie's (the traditional hamburgers, brats, potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon). Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so no pics.
mojosmom: (Default)
I mailed off the first batch of holiday cards this morning. I still have more to do. Perhaps most people will have received them by Epiphany, or before the postal rates go up. Or Chinese New Year. Or the Islamic New Year. Well, sometime.

I've been rather pleased with the courts the last couple of days. Reading Judge Jones' decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District [link is a .pdf file] is giving me a great deal of enjoyment, and it's a delight to see the "Intelligent Design" people have their own words used to defeat their case. Gives true meaning to the saying, "Oh, that mine enemy would write a book."

And today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit slapped the government around a bit in the Padilla [also a .pdf file] case: " . . . [the government's] actions have left not only the impression that Padilla may have been held for these years, even if justifiably, by mistake -- an impression we would have thought the government could ill afford to leave extant. They have left the impression that the government may even have come to the belief that the principle in reliance upon which it has detained Padilla for this time, that the President possesses the authority to detain enemy combatants who enter into this country for the purpose of attacking America and its citizens from within, can, in the end, yield to expediency with little or no cost to its conduct of the war against terror -- an impression we would have thought the government likewise could ill afford to leave extant. And these impressions have been left, we fear, at what may ultimately prove to be substantial cost to the government's credibility before the courts, to whom it will one day need to argue again in support of a principle of assertedly like importance and necessity to the one that it seems to abandon today. While there could be an objective that could command such a price as all of this, it is difficult to imagine what that objective would be."

Now I must go. I have fennel and potatoes roasting in duck fat in the oven, and a ribeye waiting to be cooked.
mojosmom: (busy bee)
Changed the kitty litter. Emptied the dishwasher. Went by the bank and made a deposit (always a good thing). Returned a couple of books to the library (yes, you're right, I checked a couple out as well). Picked up the dry cleaning I should have picked up a week ago. Got stamps at the post office. Bought my tree (5' spruce). Brought the stand and decorations up from the basement. And it's not even 11 A.M.!!

Now I have to decide where to put the tree. I usually have it in the living room, but for some reason this year I am feeling the urge to put it in the sunroom. We'll see.

Party tonight at Jim & Kevin's. Being me, I stopped on the way home from work yesterday to see if I could find something new to wear. I was planning to go to T.J. Maxx, but remembered that someone told me Casual Corner was going out of business. I stopped there first, and found a really lovely white silk overblouse: long floaty sheer sleeves, crossover V-neck, seam under the boobs. There were several hanging on the rack, the smallest was a 10 and I very nearly didn't try it on. But I did and though it was a bit big, I figured I could live with it. And then the saleswoman found me an 8. Yay! I'll wear it with my black silk slacks (one of my best purchases ever - I don't remember what I paid for them, but I've had them for years, have had the elastic in the waist replaced once or twice, and I wear them everywhere). I did stop at T.J. Maxx and tried on an incredible bargain of a dress, a $350 Gianfranco Ferré dress reduced to $25, a long, brick-red spaghetti-strap slinky of a dress. Unfortunately, it slunk in the wrong places. Clung where I didn't want it to, and was loose where I'd have liked it to cling. Ah, well.
mojosmom: (CHB)
I can send email again (thanks to a very nice & helpful Apple tech).

I am more than halfway through sewing my book (no thanks to Lilith, who "helped" by attacking the thread).

And I'm plotting against the Christmas décor overload at the office. I stopped by Hallmark but they'd closed 10 minutes before I got there. However, Walgreen's had a few Hanukah decorations, so I bought a banner to hang. I am also bringing in my Buddha statue and will put it out and post a "Happy Bodhi Day" sign. I am going to look for more Hanukah stuff (have to scope out the outlet situation to decide whether or not to get the wonderfully tacky & gaudy Hanukah lights), and for Kwanzaa stuff.

June 2017



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