Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee this week we’d be outside in the sunshine. The weather’s getting better hear and that gives me hope. We had some downpours, but that mainly made the grass and shrubbery greener.

I’d ask how week 10 of this lockdown was. In some ways it’s not so hard, but to cut out face to face socializing has been tough. It’s taking its toll on many, particularly parents with young kids who need to be homeschooled.

I’d mention that my nephew graduated from high school out in Connecticut and my parents and I “attended” or rather watched a Baccalaureate Mass on Friday and his graduation on Saturday morning. Both events were virtual and the school tried to check all the ceremonial boxes, but virtual just doesn’t hold up for me. I feel badly for these kids who aren’t getting the usual transition out of high school.

Work is bumping along and I’ve got to accept that the environment is full of people who like power and secrets. People who’re poor communicators and quite disorganized.

We’re still here on lockdown with no easing up yet. Our state has not been adding up the testing data correctly, which is troubling as thee numbers are used to determine when the state opens up.

I’ve started rereading Proust’s Swann’s Way with a friend in Washington state. We choose classic novels and discuss them via email. Swann’s Way is so packed with allusions and precise language that I’m constantly looking things up. It’ll be a slow, but delectable read.

My nephew dropped by to introduce us to his new puppy, Blue. Blue’s a mild-mannered Australian shepherd with one light blue eye and one brown eye. I’ll have to get a photo up.

Weekend Coffee Share

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

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 9 of the Lockdown. April dragged along and May seems the same. I wrote that last week but it seems we’re just going round and round. People are losing patience.

I can’t believe last week was Mother’s Day. That seems ages ago.

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I’d been engrossed in Paul Johnson’s Heroes, which I got via Hoopla, one of my library’s ebook services. One thing I don’t like about these services is there’s no way to renew. You’ve got three weeks and poof! they take back the book. So it’s a longish book and I’m busy so I needed to pick up the pace. Well, Wednesday, though the book’s still checked out to me, when I open it, all I get is a white page, which can’t be flipped. I try repeatedly, then i clear my cache, turn off the device and try again. Same problem. Then I uninstall and reinstall Hoopla. No change. I email Hoopla for help and I still haven’t heard anything. I’ve tried repeatedly to fix this, but all I see is white. I’m not big on ebooks to begin with so I’m even less impressed. I’ll have to buy this book.

(I did check Libby/Overdrive and they don’t have Heroes.)

Last night ESPN showed the final two episodes of The Last Dance about Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. All I can say is “Wow.” Watching the final episodes of this four star documentary was practically a religious experience. So much drama and heart.

Illinois is still locked up tight. The mayor has the lakefront all locked up. It’s a wonderful place to go for a walk, run or bike ride and getting some fresh air, sun and exercise are terrific for general health. I sent the Chicago Tribune a letter to the editor in March suggesting that the City open up this public space and hire life guards to insure adequate behavior like physical distancing. It wasn’t published.

A couple Chicago churches dared to hold services while practicing physical distancing and the mayor threw up last minute Tow-Zone signs in the vicinity of these churches. Then she had all the cars towed. So residents including the elderly and healthcare workers got their cars towed. It could be that churchgoers came by public transit. So this overreach has punished the innocent. What recourse do they have? It’s costly to sue the city to recoup the expense of getting one’s car back. There are more positive ways to modify behavior.

Our governor is very strict on lockdown, yet his family is staying in their equestrian estate in Wisconsin, a state that opened up on Friday, after 7 weeks in Florida in that mansion. It’s horrible that he doesn’t have his family stay in Illinois in one of their residences.

The week at work was quite stressful. More on that later. Suffice it to say our managers are very anxious and they haven’t explained why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Which Way Challenge

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Fancy office hall, Chicago

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Alive and Trekking 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.

See more Which Way photos by clicking here. You’ll be amazed at where people are going.

Which Way Challenge

way of cross

Way of the Cross

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Alive and Trekking 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.

See more Which Way photos by clicking here. You’ll be amazed at where people are going.

Palm Sunday Mass

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Today I watched mass at 9:30 at St. John Cantius, a very traditional Catholic church. I got mixed up and didn’t realize this mass is in Latin and English. Now I’m not reviewing a mass, just describing this one. While there were no live attendees they did have 1300 online more or less.

St. John Cantius’ mass is done in a pre-Vatican II style so the priest doesn’t face the congregation during the consecration. You can watch all of the mass above. The homily can be seen at about the one hour point.

Most of the mass was sung or chanted and the beauty of the church itself is stunning. The gold and wood seem akin to the Chion Temple in Kyoto.

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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 timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 2 of the WuFlu Quarantine. I bet you’re doing your best to pitch in, but there are some aggravations. We need to gambatte! Gambatte is Japanese and it’s used to encourage someone to persevere.

I’m happy that I got to work a full week and think I will this week as well. It seemed hard to continue to add value, but by having daily conference calls. A bonus is that it’s good social contact. I’m very lucky to be working with this team.

I finished reading (really listening to) David Mamet’s Chicago, which has a wonderful audio version. I also watched Paul Newman in Hud, which I’d never seen before. It made for a great follow up to Giant, as it’s a family drama set in Texas. Now I’m watching Newman in The Hustler with Jackie Gleason. It deserves its classic status.

I was livid about the pork that got crammed into the third stimulus package. Then the Kennedy Center, which got $25,000,000, announced they were firing their orchestra. Di they have to make that decision now? It seems shameful to me.

Last night, while I was taking a shower, the power went out. That’s always a a problem, but with the quarantine it was more of one. I managed to feel my way out of the shower and get my pj’s on. I heard a weird humming sound and didn’t know what on earth to think. After a while I figured out that our neighbor has a generator and that was making the noise. Luckily a half hour later the electricity came back.

 

 

Chicago

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I enjoyed the audio book of David Mamet’s novel Chicago. Narrator Jim Fragione, captures the Chicago dialect and Mamet’s rhythm.

I expected a historical novel about Al Capone or some other well known criminal figure, but that wasn’t what Mamet had in mind. Set in post-WWI Chicago, jaded reporter Mike Hodge love a young Irish girl is viciously murdered and Mike seeks justice. Did her family do it? Or someone more nefarious? Capone, the Levee District and WWI figure prominently in the novel, but Hodge and the life of a reporter in the 1920s takes center stage.

The plot isn’t the book’s strong suit. That would be a tie between the references to Chicago’s red light district and criminal element and Mamet’s trademark philosophizing in a Chicago dialect. That’s what made the audio book soar.