Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d have brought my umbrella because it’s continuing to rain a lot, but I’m still fine with it.

I’d say that I’ve just started two classes with University of the People (http://uofthepeople.edu ) towards an associate certificate in Computer Science. One’s on learning Python and the other’s a general College Success class, which I think I don’t need as I’ve completed three college degrees already and one was online, but oh well. Today I’ve slated my Python homework and I hope it goes well. I do like that University of the People is founded and led by educators with sterling credentials from top schools like NYU or Columbia. Also, it’s a tuition free school so while you pay for taking a final, the costs are minimal. I hope this experience is fruitful.

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W.C. Fields in The Bank Dick

I enjoyed the W.C. Fields film The Bank Dick, which could not be made today, but it was both silly and smart. It’s nice comic relief.

My sister came in town from Utah with her husband. Usually, her visits are brief and this one was, but she made a point of spending time with my parents rather than running around the city to see many different friends. I know they were delighted to spend time with her.

I went to another jewelry making class at the library. We made steampunk necklaces out of small Altoid tins that were torched, sanded and painted. The teacher had a wide array of gears, clock hands, old books, beads, inks and paints to add to the tins. It was fun to experiment.

We had another loss at the library. This one was pretty shocking. The manager of the branch library was fired. The director has been hounding her for every little infraction and had taken away her duties such as purchasing and programming so the writing was on the wall. It seems quite unfair and now all the full timers fear for their jobs. I think 12 people have left since December and I’ve learned that in the fall before I came more were let go. It’s just so unnecessary because the people I’m aware of were dedicated, skilled workers. Many are highly experienced and at a stage of their work life when its hard to find comparable positions.  Patrons have asked about the staff changes and we’re forbidden to give much information. It’s hard to tap dance when someone asks for so and so about a program they were planning or ongoing request. Of course, people want to know what happened and we can’t tell them anything. It’s silly because people will figure it out.

Did she quit? So suddenly I just saw her Monday.

No.

Is she sick?

No.

What happened?

We can’t say.

One of the “problems” it’s believed is that the branch gets higher reviews for customer service than the main library.

I’m delighting in the Hillsdale College online Aristotle’s Ethics course. I’m a bit behind, but just loved Unit 4 about Character. The professor is so clear and approachable, while being an expert. I highly recommend this free course.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d begin by saying that it’s been rainier than usual here, but I don’t mind much. It’s also been rather cool and as I’m not one for sunbathing, it’s fine. You don’t need bulky layers to go out and about so I’m happy.

Saturday I went on a walking tour with a friend around Chicago’s Streeterville. Streeterville has an interesting origin. In the 1880s riverboat pilot Captain George Streeter ran aground in Lake Michigan. He left the boat there and soon the sandbar grew and grew. He declared this land a separate country called the District of Michigan. Squatters and ne’er-do-wells moved in, much to the displeasure of the elites. Legal battles lasted up until 1908.

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Our tour through the Driehaus Museum not only introduced us to the colorful Cap’n Streeter and his wife Ma, but took us around much of this district that in the 19th century was desolate and now is home to a thriving commercial and residential area. We saw significant buildings, some huge like the American Furniture Mart that I never noticed before. We also learned of some hidden gems that are open to the public and make wonderful quite spots to view the lake or skyline. Sorry, I’m not printing those addresses.

We were so lucky in terms of the rain on Saturday. It poured before and after our tour, but nothing during it. Also we lucked into street parking in a very popular shopping area.

Yesterday my brothers and their families that are in the area came for a Fathers’ Day barbecue, which was fun.

I started and gave up on the book Southern Lady Code. It was too snarky for me. The author seemed to need a Copernican Revelation. I expected some warm-hearted jabs at Southern culture like Jeanne Robertson is so good at, but the author seemed embarrassed of her Southern past and clueless about how her demands of her husband and family were quite selfish. She just seemed clueless and after a few chapters, I figured enough is enough. There are plenty of good books on my reading list.

For today’s book club, we read and discussed Antigone. It’s a solid play that illustrates Aristotle’s principles of tragedy well, but despite its strengths, I wasn’t as enthralled as some. The state and family life have changed so much that I didn’t think it was relevant. Others loved it and said it’s one of their favorites of all time. Different strokes.

I watched a very challenging, very long (3 hours 25 minutes) Russian film called Andrei Rublev. If you’re up for a challenge, go for it. I’d say the story’s more confusing than The Human Condition, another marathon film, but there’s some beautiful parts and it did make me think differently about filmmaking. I’ll be watching shorter, more fluffy films for the next couple of weeks.

 

Chicago’s River Walk

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Saturday a friend and I enjoyed the Chicago Architecture Center’s Riverwalk tour. Although the weather was supposed to be warm and sunny, we had a day with threatening skies and temperatures in the high 40s. It’s a tour you want to do on a fine day.

Our docent was knowledgeable and explained the history of the Riverwalk, which used to be a commercial and industrial area. Then the space just wasn’t used. Now several areas between the bridges have been developed into “rooms.” So one “room” houses eateries, while another has water gardens for educational purposes. Another “room” is for performances with the idea that a boat with a band or entertainers can dock and people can sit and watch.

The tour ran 40 minutes and was cut a bit short due to the weather. Just as it ended, the rains started to pour. While this tour isn’t as information rich, I did learn a few things and enjoyed the stroll.

Tickets: $26, which is pricey compared to their other tours since our tour didn’t cover much distance and was only 45 minutes long.

(Our tour was free because, I guess, it’s a new tour and the docents needed practice.)

 

Which Way Challenge

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Howard Street Station, Red Line

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets, exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

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See more Which Way photos by clicking here.

Which Way Challenge

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The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets, exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

This week as it’s Triduum, I went with a religious theme.

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See more Which Way photos by clicking here.

Rabanitos Restaurante and Taqueria


For great Mexican food at a good price, head to Rabanitos Restaurant & Taqueria. Located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Rabanitos offers flavorful, authentic food and warm hospitality. Before going to the National Museum of Mexican Art (just two blocks away) and taking a walking tour of the area’s vivid murals, my friend and I had lunch here.

We both got tortas, i.e. sandwiches. She ordered the Carnitas and I had the Cubana. Great bread, wonderfully spiced meats and fillings. I also got a drink, the Jamaica, which was a not too sweet juice. I’m not sure what fruit it’s made of, but it tasted like it had some grape.

The host was all smiles and genuine hospitality. The decor is colorful and cheery. At one point a guitarist came in and played. We think the made the rounds of the nearby restaurants, playing for tips. I’m not 100% sure. Perhaps the restaurants also pay him something.

The sandwiches were huge and could feed 3. If there were more of us, I’d have suggested getting several items and sharing them. We wound up getting doggie bags and were glad to have more tortas later.

Our sandwiches were $10 each and the drink was $2.50. I’ll definitely be back.

Address: 1758 W. 18th St. One block west of the Pink Line’s 18th St. stop.

National Museum of Mexican Art

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Our Lady of Guadalupe drivin’ along

I spent the day in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago with my friend Maryann. Before our walking tour of Pilsen’s famed murals, we had time to explore the National Museum of Mexican Art, which has a good collection from many eras.

I like the size of the museum. It’s got a well curated collection and doesn’t take all day to view. You’ll still have time to explore the neighborhood’s many significant murals.

The National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 19th Street, Chicago

Admission: Free

Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

Street parking