mojosmom: (Default)
I traipsed out to Oak Park (in rush hour!) for a meeting, only to find that the person we were meeting with had to go out of town unexpectedly and had cancelled at the last minute. So I took myself to dinner at a place I like out there to give traffic time to ease off.

The weekend was a lot of hanging with friends. A woman I went to college with comes into the area every year for a conference, and we usually meet for lunch when it's over and before she needs to head to the airport. Another friend generally joins us, but couldn't make it this year. It's good to catch up.

On Sunday, I headed up to Wisconsin (just over the Illinois border) to have dinner with some good friends. Not as large a group as usual, because one friend was off in Iowa with her youngest daughter, visiting colleges, and another wasn't feeling well. But those of us who did come had a good time, as always.

Our weather has been crazy warm. We're breaking records, and it may get up to 70ºF today. In February! In Chicago!

Saw my oncologist yesterday, and I am now on annual visits, rather than semi-annual, which is nice.
mojosmom: (sisters)
Both my sisters are in town because this afternoon we are attending a 90th birthday party for an old family friend. Cathy arrived Thursday evening, so I picked her up at the airport on my way home from work. She had a gorgeous day to walk around the neighborhood on Friday (mid-60s!) and took full advantage of it. Among other things, she did some grocery shopping and cooked us an excellent dinner, after which we watched Julie and Julia. Cathy hadn't read Powell's book, but had read My Life in France, and her reaction to the "Julie" part of the film was the same as my reaction to the book: "When is she going to stop whining?" We agreed that it was half a good movie, and wished that it had been entirely about Julia.

Saturday, the first day of spring, it snowed. And was cold. And blustery. So we stayed inside and hung out with the cats. Stacey was driving in and hoped to get here before six o'clock. However, she got to Toledo and her transmission went out. She had to leave her car at a garage there to be fixed, and rented a car to drive the rest of the way. The only place she could rent a car was at the airport, so she had to get a cab out there, and they managed to send her a cab driver who didn't know how to get to the airport! I didn't know such people existed. I mean, that's a cabbie's bread-and-butter, right? As a result, she didn't get here until about 8:30.

Cathy and I had gone out to hear the Newberry Consort (17th-century violin music, with a harpsichord thrown in), but had left her some of the excellent pizza we had had for dinner (olive oil glaze, chèvre, caramelized onions, kalamata olives and roasted red peppers). I have really gotten into using HomeMade Pizza Company lately. I can run in on my way home from work, have them create something interesting, and throw it in the oven when I get home. As easy as a frozen pizza and it tastes way better. They also had a special ice cream, Chocolate Almond Bark, which I bought.

I continue to fight a cold. Last Sunday, I went up to my friend Fran's for dinner, came home early in the evening feeling fine, but later developed a nasty sore throat. The next day, I felt rather punk, and my voice was going. I went to work, but left early, I felt so bad, and took the next day off. Felt better on Wednesday, though if I hadn't had a phone conference that would have been a pain to re-schedule, I might have stayed in bed. I'm at the point where I feel fine, but sound pretty raspy, and am mildly congested.

I've been to a couple of plays lately, one excellent, one not. Court Theatre is doing The Illusion, by Pierre Corneille, freely adapted by Tony Kushner. (Story: "Legend has it that the Hartford production was more overtly haunted by Corneille. As Sylviane Gold describes in the New York Times, the production was beset by technical difficulties until Kushner and director Mark Lamos decided to reprint the program to say not “The Illusion by Tony Kushner, based on a play by Pierre Corneille” but “The Illusion by Pierre Corneille, freely adapted by Tony Kushner.” All the technical glitches stopped on cue, save for one: Kushner’s name was mysteriously wiped from the marquee on the night before the show opened. The play continues to be performed and published under this revised heading, lest the original author return to seek his due.") It's marvelous! Love the play, love the staging, love the acting.

Rebecca Gilman's A True History of the Johnstown Flood, not so much. I'm not a big fan of Gilman's, as I find her work to be rather heavy-handed and didactic. This play was no different. It was also rather predictable. The actors were good, and there was excellent staging, but that's not enough to save a bad script.

The four of us went to dinner beforehand at 312 Chicago, a place we like a lot. They are celebrating their 12th anniversary, and each night have twelve entrées and twelve bottles of wine available at $12 each. Which is quite a deal. Usually, the least expensive glass of wine is about $9, and I don't know where you can get such a good ribeye steak in downtown Chicago for $12 on a normal night!
mojosmom: (catkind)
I've been off at a seminar on defending death penalty cses for the last couple of days. It was mostly good, but a couple of the speakers were godawful. Do not expect me to pay attention if you misuse the phrase "beg the question", say "acronym" when you mean "abbreviation" and refer to the Compiled Statutes as the "combined" statutes. It also helps if you don't just read your presentation off the power point slides in a boring monotone.

Weird coincidence: I'm reading Alexander McCall Smith's latest Isabel Dalhousie novel, The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, in which she has to decide whether to publish a paper on the Trolley Problem. So one of the speakers yesterday, a neuropsychologist, talked about some testing which involved . . . the Trolley Problem! (I wasn't reading the book at the time; he was actually quite interesting.)

Saturday, I went and got my flu shot. I had put it off but realized this was the last Saturday clinic. Surprisingly, the place wasn't full. I guess other people are more organized than I am about such things.
mojosmom: (My House)
So I went to the 60th Annual Latke-Hamantash Debate tonight. It began with a bit of a cappella singing from the Chicago Rhythm and Jews, followed by the panelists and moderator processing in full academic regalia. We learned, from a philosophy professor, that the Hebrew letter which represents the number 60 can, depending on how it's written, look like either a circle (latke) or a triangle (hamantash), thereby proving something or other. The psychiatry department then chimed in, discussing the Ur-myth of Esther, in which the chimps and the humans fought over her, the humans using a circular, discus-type weapon to defeat the triangular-weapon-wielding apes. The next speaker (another philosophy professor, citing Spinoza) argued that the whole debate was moot, that hamantashen don't exist! Really! Because triangles can't exist and as hamantashen are triangles, they can't exist. Q.E.D. But wait! The Dean of Rockefeller Chapel then showed that hamantashen are in the Bible and latkes aren't. Well, what does she know, she's a goy. Oh, dear. I guess the debate still hasn't solved anything. But it was great fun. I didn't stay for the latke-hamantash reception, because I hadn't had dinner, and that really didn't appeal as a meal, so I went to the Medici for steak frites.

Oh! I nearly forgot to say that, if there are any academics out there (Dr. Zugenia?), a new academic journal is about to be launched. It's working title is "The Journal of Latke and Hamantash Studies", and they're looking for papers! So if you are aching to publish your scholarly work on the question of the "superiority of latkes, hamantashen, or other Jewish holiday foods", now's your chance!

Autre stuff

When I got home, there was an SUV parked in my neighbor's spot in such a way as to prevent me from squeezing into mine. It didn't look familiar, but I thought they might have bought a new car (it happens), so I knocked on their door to ask them to move it. Rashid looked and said, "that's not our car". I knocked on the other neighbors' doors, but none admitted to the car or to having visitors. So I called the towing people. Naturally, a couple of minutes later, someone was out there moving the car. I figure somebody heard me and a neighbor talking. Why do people do this shit? If you have to park where you shouldn't, at least leave a note saying where you are. Would have served them right if they'd been towed.

I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow to see about this pain in my arm. I'd almost rather that it were constantly sore, rather than having sudden pain when I move it the wrong way. I get lulled into a false sense of security, if you know what I mean.

I need to go buy some booze for the open house. Fortunately, my liquor store delivers, so I won't need to strain my arm hauling a case of wine up three flights of stairs.

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