mojosmom: (Default)
It seems as though just as people were coming back to LiveJournal, they started migrating over here for security reasons. I've had a Dreamwidth account for some time, but didn't use it much, although when I started it, I moved all my LJ posts here as well. (Truth be told, I didn't post much over at LJ, either, mostly for reasons of laziness. Bad me!) So here I am.

As with most years, there's been bad and good.

I've lost some good people this year:

An old family friend, in both senses of the word, had a stroke while visiting one of her daughters in Massachusetts. She lingered a couple of days, and then passed at the age of 93. A good long life.

A young woman whom I knew from my support group at Gilda's Club succumbed to metastatic breast cancer. Judy was a pretty amazing person. She taught at Second City, and when she was first diagnosed, she put together a comedy routine about it. When it came back, she just updated the routine. A lovely, brave friend.

Just before Thanksgiving, one of the finest, kindest, most decent people I've ever known died after three years of dealing with lung cancer and COPD. I worked with Jamie as a public defender, we coached at trial advocacy programs together, and he was an opera buddy. His memorial service brought together folks he knew from the legal field, from his AA group, from the gay liberation groups at the University of Chicago where he attended law school. Jamie cared about people, he paid attention. I'm going to miss him terribly.

As for me, my health remains good, and I've been doing a lot of traveling. I mentioned in my last post (from March!!) that I was thinking of going to Venice. I did. I decided I could not miss that production of The Merchant of Venice. (And when I got back, I went to the Jonathan Pryce Merchant at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Good, but I liked the Venice production better.) At the end of July, Venice is crazy crowded and hot, but it didn't matter. I had a fabulous time. In addition to Merchant, I saw a production of Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters, and went to a concert at the Chiesa San Vidal (mostly Vivaldi, of course). The Architecture Biennale was happening, too, and I went to a bunch of museums.

At the end of October, I went on the trip to Barcelona and Bilbao that I mentioned exactly one year ago. It was fantastic, so worth the cost. Nothing I had seen, still photos or film, could have prepared me for the Sagrada Familia. It is so big and light-filled, the detail is astonishing. It's still being worked on, but the interior is done, and they plan to finish by 2026, the centenary of Gaudi's death. So mark your calendars! ;-) We not only saw wonderful architecture, we ate a lot of good food, probably more than we should have, but we walked it off. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

At the beginning of December, I did a short, random, sort of spur of the moment, trip to New York, because I decided I really wanted to see the Klimt exhibit at the Neue Galerie and the Mrs. Carl Meyer portrait by Sargent at the Jewish Museum. My timing was good, because I was able to catch a performance of L'Amour de Loin, by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, at the Met, the first opera by a woman they've done in over a hundred years. It was also conducted by a woman. I'm so glad I was able to see it, because I loved it. It's contemporary (though with a medieval setting), but the music is quite accessible. The voices were grand, particularly the mezzo, Tamara Mumford. Simple, yet brilliant, set by Robert Lepage, long ribbons of LED lights across the stage mimicking water.

And I'm going to Boston in mid-January - pray that there are no snowstorms! Some college friends want to celebrate their birthdays there - why, when one of them lives in Miami, I don't know, but they do.

I'm planning another trip to NYC in June, as there is a big Frank Lloyd Wright show opening at MOMA that month (it's his 150th birthday), and the New York City Opera is doing an opera based on Tony Kushner's play, Angels in America, that I do not want to miss.

My sisters came in for the holidays, and, as usual, we got together with friends, went to museums and bookstores, and generally had a good time. Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah coincided, so Cathy made the traditional latkes, and on the third night we went to the home of a neighbor and fellow Robie House volunteer for more latkes.

My refrigerator chose Christmas weekend to die, and as it is twenty years old, I decided to forgo calling a repairman and just go out and buy a new, more energy efficient one. While I was at it, I bought a new dishwasher. My old one died a couple of years ago, and it wasn't worth fixing, but I'd put replacing it on the back burner as doing dishes for one person isn't a big deal. However, should I ever sell the condo, a working dishwasher would be expected, so as long as I was appliance shopping, I did that, too. The refrigerator came on Wednesday, the dishwasher should arrive next Friday. Here's hoping my washer/dryer last for while longer!

I continue to do volunteer work with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, and serve on a couple of boards, my friend Jeanne and I continue to spend a lot of time at the Gene Siskel Film Center (they did an Anna Magnani festival this summer!), and my TBR pile continues to grow, not helped by my being in a book club.
mojosmom: (Default)
I was intending to go downtown today. I wanted to go to a jeweler's to get an estimate on replacing the stone in my ring (good news from my insurance company - no deductible applies, and it's not chargeable - meaning my homeowner's rates won't go up). I thought I'd go to the post office (I desperately need stamps) and early vote. I actually spent a good bit of time last night on various bar association websites to check out their judicial recommendations. However, the temperature is in negative single digits, without taking wind chill into account, and I really don't feel like standing at a bus stop! I'm off work Monday, and it's supposed to be warmer (20ºF), so I'll go then. The post office will be closed for the holiday, but the Board of Elections will be open. Maybe I'll go look at the new Spertus building, too.

These people are probably glad they didn't pull this stunt this weekend!

Cold weather does, however, inspire me to do stuff in the kitchen. I've taken the leftover lamb bones from Christmas dinner out of of the freezer to thaw, and will make lamb stock tomorrow.

A friend of mine is on the front page of the Chicago Tribune this morning. Curiously, there was a story about a similar case in the New York Times today. And, no, I have no idea what I'd do in such a situation. Fortunately, I've never been in that position.

My client visit on Tuesday didn't take as long as I thought, so I got to Springfield in time to have a decently early dinner with my friend, Sue. We ate at Maldaner's, and I would highly recommend it if you are ever in Springfield. Sue recently resigned from her job, is doing some consulting and considering her options. She is luckily in a position to take her time. She hadn't been happy there for a while, having been lured in basically under false pretenses. There had been rumors the business would be sold, she was assured that wasn't the case, and, lo and behold! it was, and she had to be the hatchet woman and lay off a lot of people.

My CLE presentation went well, especially considering that I was the last speaker of the day and was talking about case law. As near as I could tell, no one fell asleep. After I spoke in Chicago, I asked some folks from my office who were there what they had thought. They were uniformly positive, but of course they work with me! But after I spoke in Springfield, people I didn't know complimented me, so it must have been good. And someone I do know from professional boards, but who didn't have to say this, asked me if I taught and called my speaking style "engaging". Isn't that nice?

The CLE people put me up at the Crowne Plaza where the seminar was held. Now that's a nice hotel! The room was immense, big enough for a king-sized bed, desk, full-size sofa and coffee table. There was a ton of closet space, and I could only think that it was a waste to be there for just one night. There was a pretty little gauze bag on the bed containing a sleep mask, ear plugs, and lavender linen spray, along with a CD of relaxation techniques and music. They call this the Quiet Zone floor.

The seminar finished shortly before 5:00. I hit the road right away, and made very good time - no traffic issues at all. So I got home in plenty of time to see this season's absolutely best Project Runway episode.

Thursday night, the judge to whose courtroom I am assigned, and his wife, hosted a gathering at a local watering hole for courtroom staff, and other lawyers and probation officers who appear before him frequently. His wife told me that it was their "holiday" party, but that they had decided to wait to have it until after the state ban on smoking in bars went into effect. Guess that's one bit of business not hurt by the law! It was a nice time, nothing fancy, just casual, very enjoyable.

Yesterday after work I met up with a woman who is considering opening a law office in our area, so she was looking for advice and information (two things I'm pretty good at handing out, sometimes to a fault!). She presently practices in another state, but her husband got transferred up here. I think she'll do well if she does decide to practice up here, because it's evident she has put a lot of thought into how to come into a new jurisdiction (always delicate!) as well as marketing strategies. I gave her some names of other lawyers to talk to (a couple of the "big dogs"), and touted the local and state-wide criminal defense organizations.

It was nearly a disaster, because I had suggested we meet at a steakhouse near the courthouse that has a nice bar and is a lawyers' hangout, but when I got there, there were no cars in the parking lot. And then I saw the sign, "closed for remodeling"! I waited for her in the lot (I'd left her cell # in the office, how dumb was that!), but after a bit she called, having gotten lost, and we arranged to meet somewhere else. So it worked out. It worked out quite well, in fact, because the weather was quite nasty and by the time we were done, it was better and traffic was much improved. I did a bit of grocery shopping on the way home, which is also nice to do when no one is in the store!

June 2017



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