Monday, September 27, 2010

Redmoon and Sartorial Struggles

This morning I woke up feeling unable to get the "Amy's productive day" show on the road. It doesn't help that I was feeling sick again, perhaps from sitting outside in the cold for a few hours last night watching Redmoon's The Astronaut's Birthday. It was a pretty cool show, though I didn't appreciate being packed onto uncomfortable bleachers with irritating children and craning my neck upwards. The show was done entirely with over 4,000 (or something, I forget) hand-drawn, hand-gelled slides and overhead projectors shining from inside the building windows, with occasional people as shadows and puppetry animation. The story was a little "meh" (this review suggests it was too slow-paced, but I also think the overt moral was a strangely uncomfortable one: "don't dream big or shoot for the stars, because love is all that matters.") But I love Redmoon for their commitment to fantastic public art and elaborate low-tech spectacle. And afterwards I got a "blood orange" hot chocolate from a 7-11 and went to a potluck party at a friend's house. I brought a cous-cous salad with grapes, orange pepper, and feta, a combination of two Mark Bittman picnic ideas from the New York Times. Most of them look super good and fast, so I'll be trying them for more than just picnics.

Another thing slowing me down is trying to wear something other than my corduroy pants that I love so much. I think it would be nice to wear skirts and tights, but can never get it to look right or feel comfortable. It's mostly an issue of improper footwear. Somehow, the flats I wore all summer with skirts don't look right as soon as I add tights to my legs, which I can't figure out. And as great as heels look, I just can't bring myself to wear them to walk the 20 minutes to campus, where they will slow me down and make me uncomfortable all day. How do women who wear heels every day do it? I have some ankle boots that I bought last spring and really liked for awhile, but now I feel like they make me look like Robin Hood with my skinny legs poking out of their wide tops. This post from Jane at Ill Seen, Ill Said, inspired me to try to make flats look just as sophisticated, but I can't pull it off. I always love her "Sunday best" imaginary outfit posts, and she's so smart and posts a lot of interesting things about art and books.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday Night Fun

Slowly chipping away at a to-do list this morning: getting ready for classes and internship to start up, cooking projects so food doesn't go to waste, sending a wedding present, cleaning and so on.

On Thursday night I went with some friends to the Chicago Chef Battle at Goose Island Brewery's actual brewery/warehouse. We got in for free (my friend is in a show at Second City and one of her fellow actors works for Chicago Public Radio, which sponsored the event). We showed up late (department beginning-of-term party) and missed the food, which was sad, but the winning chef, David Carrier, showed us a bit around the brewery and explained how beer gets changed by being put in old wine casks. He told us about Cru, a fortified wine made in Virginia that's aged in Jack Daniels barrels, which sounds so good. We actually didn't know at the time that he was the winning chef, just that he was a huge man in a white coat who knew a lot about alcohol. We learned later that he also just got fired from his restaurant on the previous Monday. I'm sure he'll find a new job fast! Good luck to you, David!

We also got to taste a bunch of beers. We saw Goose Island's new beer, Madame Rose in the barrels (I think so, because it said "cherries" on the side) and tried Harvest Ale, Sophie, and Matilda, my personal favorite ("spicy in character," yes please). Fret not, they were only in small samples!

While I was standing around there, some creepy old men came up to talk to us. At one point, one of them was like "Look at the moon? Can you see Jupiter? Have you ever seen it?" And I was like, "Yeah, I see it, I've seen it before," since know-it-all is usually my default when I'm uncomfortable and want to hurry someone along (and away). But I had no idea what they were talking about until today when I learned (from the lovely clothing company Toast's blog) that night there was a Super Harvest Moon, which NASA teaches us that this year was a rare occasion when Autumn Solstice falls on the same night as a full moon, causing a cool glow at sunset, and then, right at 11:09 pm when apparently fall officially begun, Jupiter was right up in the top of the sky next to the bright, full moon.

So where were you when this event of cosmic importance took place? I was standing happily in the quads eating and drinking free food at sunset, remarking happily about what a beautiful warm night it was, and then by 11:09 I was probably in bed! How funny to learn, later, that it was the last night of summer... I'm glad I went out and enjoyed it! Especially because the weather here has really behaved properly, and now we're all getting cozy in flannel and corduroy and sweatshirts.

Other things:
  • Here's a funny (perhaps unintentionally) Egypt video.
  • If you're in Chicago, check out the rooftop deck at Bottom Lounge (where I went last night) before it gets too cold! It has a really cool view of the city and reasonably priced drinks.
  • Tomorrow's the last night for Redmoon Theater's The Astronaut's Birthday! See you there!
  • Ooh, maybe I'll watch the marathon at Simone's, a cool bar in Pilsen I went to for the first time a couple weeks ago.
  • I don't remember where the picture comes from, but it's a cozy fall-looking room!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Geometric Wall Art Ideas

I'm really into geometric DIY wall art right now. The top image is by U look like a bunny via Design for Mankind.
This photo is from flickr photographer Graphic Surgery taken somewhere in Sweden, also via Design for Mankind.
This is the dining room of Anne-Claire Rohe, whose home was featured on Design*Sponge. She made the hot pink wire installation as a homage to Fred Sandbeck.

There's a lot more out there, Design for Mankind is also really into geometrics. REALLY into. Design Crisis will also hook you up with a lot of fun graphic wall treatments, especially huge colorful ones that involve a major paint commitment and look best with gold. For example, this cool laser light show wall paint job, which is actually pretty subtle and very cool.

Anyway I'm thinking something maybe outside on my front porch? The kitchen is also rather boring, but maybe not after we put up the long-awaited liquor shelf?

Friday, September 3, 2010

OMG it's FALL!

I saw this post this morning, while I was having my coffee hot, and wearing jeans and a cardigan, and hearing the wind blowing the leaves outside, and I got really really excited. I love fall! Even though I pine for summer and love it so much, the return of cooler weather is just absolutely wonderful. I wonder how I would deal in a place that doesn't really have a change of seasons.

Unfortunately I am starting this fall off more broke than ever, so there won't be much or any back-to-school shopping for me, which is probably good. You don't care about that anyway, do you?

I made that key lime cheesecake and had it the last two nights while sitting on the front porch with friends. I got to see two of my best friends, one of whom was in town to visit before she leaves for Cameroon for two years! I'll miss you so much! The other is back in Chicago and we made plans for some sewing project together. We even got to Skype in with another one of my college apartment-mates, who is far away in Utah, which was lovely. Even the one who just started grad school in Massachusetts hasn't been a stranger, and I've gotten heartening text messages from her. I love you, friends. Oh also the cheesecake was not bad at all.

Tonight I decided to stay home, make curry lentils and chocolate-covered strawberries for myself, and read. So far, so AWESOME. Also, it was all stuff I had at home, so that's good too.