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 tell you that I finished revising my play. Now I’ve got to market it more. I did send an email to a theater in Chicago where I have submitted the summary and other requested information last July. They say they need 6 months to consider whether they want to read the whole thing and I just wanted to cordially remind them in a that it’s been over 6 months. I also want to send this revised version to the theater that already asked for the full play. This version has fewer characters which makes a play more cost effective.

I volunteered as an Election Judge for last Tuesday’s Consolidated Election, i.e. the election for local jobs like village trustee. We had to help with the Monday evening set up, finish the set up on Tuesday at 5 a.m., manage the polling place and shut down. I was up at 3:45 a.m. and got home after 9. The team was great, very cooperative and friendly so that during our many lulls we could chat easily. We only had 53 voters all day (from 6 a.to 7 p.m.). There were just 19 early voters in our precinct of 703 registered voters. What a pity.

That long, long Tuesday threw my week off. Wednesday I slept late and had little energy. Still it’s a bit of extra money and it’s rewarding to help. The county has a hard time finding people to work the election.

One of my co-election judges works at a big garden center. I was interested to learn that they sell a special soil for marijuana. In Illinois, they’re considering legalizing pot, but now it’s just legal for medical usage. So it’s funny that this garden store, which caters to consumers sells this special soil.

My aunt had knee replacement surgery on Monday and I did visit her on Wednesday just before she was released. She was heading home, which is tough with the stairs at her house. A lot of people go to a rehab center for a few weeks. She’ll have in home therapy and nursing. I hope the therapy comes daily.

I’ve started watching the film Blow Up, but the main character’s so blasé and jaded that it’s hard to stay interested.

How was your week? Share highlights or links to your blog post below.

 

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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 tell you that I have gotten about 40% of the editing done on my play and I sent an email to the theater that I submitted the summary to in July. You’re supposed to hear if they want to read more within 6 months and there’s been no word. I should also see if there’s a contest for plays coming up.

I had coffee with a friend who just returned from visiting her sister in Arizona for 5 weeks. Her plan was t substitute teach there for a month. It was good to be with her sister, but the subbing was mostly one day gigs and she much prefers longer term assignments. We caught up on family and friends’ activities.

This Jussie Smollett situation really blew me away. I can’t believe the case was dropped and as a long time Chicago area native and Chicago history buff, I’ll say that there’s something fishy afoot and I hope that comes out. Kim Foxx has little courtroom experience and yet is managing those that do. She’s never tried a felony case, but got to be in charge of that system. It’s all connections. Now I regret agreeing to go take care of someone’s dog at noon, because I’d like to have gone down to the protest against these shenanigans. I’m not saying Smollett should go to jail, but he should either plead guilty or have presented his side while the State presents theirs and a judge or jury decides. What we have here is special, secretive treatment.

We’re in a cold snap. A lot of people are tired of winter. I’m not exactly. A couple years ago I realized that contrary to what I was told in kindergarten in these parts the seasons aren’t divided into quarters. Our spring is rather short. It sure doesn’t start in March, and often it doesn’t warm up till mid-April. So I don’t start wearing my spring jacket till the temperature’s get to the 60°s. I know I’ll get sick if I start going out underdressed. I’d rather peel off some layers than be too cold.

I started planning for next month’s book displays. A colleague invited me to help out with them. So I’ve picked a couple themes and am checking on which books fit the theme. My first idea was Microhistories, i.e. the history of just one thing, and I found we own a lot. We’ve got micro histories on salt, the number zero, color, bananas, Genghis Khan and many more. Now I’m searching for titles of books and films about rivalry. I’ve gotten (pairs of) books on Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Matisse and Picasso, the film Amadeus. I’m looking for more rivals. Can you think of any? Fiction or non-fiction works.

I found Lucky Partners entertaining and fun. I saw Unplanned and that was hard to take. It’s not a pretty subject and it was a true story, but I didn’t need so much blood to get the point. I’m half way through Harold Lloyd’s talkie Cat’s Paw and while parts are outdated, it’s a delight.

How was your week? Can you think of any rivalries?

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 tell you that the more I read Arnold Bennett’s The Old Wives’ Tale, the more I love his writing. Bennett is a 19th century novelist that I’ve never heard of, yet he should definitely be on par with say Elizabeth Gaskell. This is the story of two sisters who grow up in the same small town. Each one’s life is full of challenges, though Constance takes the familiar route of staying in her town, marrying and raising her son, while her wilder sister elopes and runs off to Paris with a cad. I’ll definitely look for more of Bennett’s books.

I was sorry, but not surprised that the Hanoi Summit between the US and North Korea did not result in a deal. I do hope that in a few years these efforts bear fruit. My heart goes out to the people who live under the DPRK regime.

My good friend Kristi is in town from France, where she lives with her husband and son. She and Max, her son, are here during his spring break to help with her step dad who’s in the hospital. I saw them on Wednesday when I picked them up at the airport and hope to have time for a good long chat this week.

We’ve had cold and ugly weather this week. We’ve got some sunshine, but often gray skies and a lot of the snow’s melted so it’s patches of snow, often dirty, mixed with patches of brown and greenish grass. I’d be fine with a few more inches of snow. It’s really too early for spring in these parts.

I’m sad that the Masterpiece/BBC Victoria series has concluded for the season. I long for the times when such a series would have more episodes. PBS doesn’t have much on the docket for Sunday nights in March.

Work on my play is proceeding slowly. I lost the latest revision. Somehow it got deleted. I do have a PDF version so I’m using that to recreate this latest draft. The loss could be worse, but it’s a pain to go back like I’m playing Chutes and Ladders.

I had high hopes for the film Shoplifters, but the ending left a lot to be desired and the characters’ lives were quite depressing. A lot of their troubles could have been avoided.

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 tell you that I was delighted that Victoria is back on Masterpiece Theater as of Sunday and that I’m just as delighted that I got the DVDs for the gritty police drama Spiral. I’ll write about both later in the week.

For my weekly classic film, I saw another Japanese one, The Living Magoroku. It wasn’t great, but there are plenty that are better. The pacing was slow and some actors were stiff.

I’d mention that I had a phone interview for another part time library job. This one pays better and should use more of the skills and knowledge I acquired in library school. Tomorrow I have a face to face interview. I’ve done some prep work already. The two jobs’ schedules go together well, except for one overlap.

I was happy to see snow falling on Saturday. We haven’t had any since November and if it’s going to be cold, I’d like to see some snow. It is winter after all. Plus since there’s less people working or going to school on a Saturday, it’s a great time for snow.

I had lunch with my cousin Janice and it was a wonderful time to catch up.

I discovered another YouTube gem in the vein of “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.” It’s Kids Try where kids are given unfamiliar foods and they react to them. The creators picked just the right personalities for this series.

It’s been a rather quiet week, but with work it is harder to find time to write. I did get started on revising my play.

Sweet Bean (An)

Though I can’t stand Japanese sweet bean paste, the movie Sweet Bean is another story.  Loner Senato runs a snack shop in Tokyo where he makes and sells pancakes stuffed with sweet bean paste when one day Tokue, a cute old lady, comes along and begs for a job. She begs to for a job, but he’s sure at 76 she’s unable to do the lifting and hard work he needs.

When she comes by again bearing a batch of the most incredibly delicious sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted, he relents and hires her. The next morning she’s there at 4 am to make the beans replacing the canned glop used before. Soon there’s a line around the block for the snacks.

Wakana, a student whose single mom wants her to stop studying and get a job, is drawn to this pair of loners. She shows how wonderful friendship is with someone much older. She shares her dreams and memories with Tokue and keeps Sentaro on the right path regarding sticking up for Tokue.

In the midst of the business’ success, the shop’s meddling owner pops in and insists  Sentaro fire Tokue because her knobbled hands are due to leporasy. She’s a health risk. She’s got to go.

The film goes into new territory and explores friendship, loyalty and isolation in a beautiful way. I loved this film. My only quibble is that I wanted to know what happens with Wakana. Even though I still can’t choke down a sweet bean pancake and highly recommend this movie.

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 tell you that I can’t believe New Years was last Tuesday. It seems like more time than that has passed.

I made a point of seeing another opulent church before the decorations would come down and went to Holy Trinity Polish Mission. Since I was downtown, I also stopped in the Art Institute of Chicago which has a Neapolitan Crèche. Though they acquired this exhibit with over 200 figures in 2013, I hadn’t seen it. I was blown away.

I’ve been working regularly and particularly enjoy helping in the Makerspace. So many patrons come in with creative ideas and leave with great gifts. They feed off each other. Friday was jam-packed as the regulars start their Christmas gifts now and finish by say March. Now I’ve got several ideas buzzing in my head.

I’m learning all about the history of candy by reading Sweet Tooth, a micro-history on sweets. I’ve learned that candy made from sugar was first developed by Saudi’s who used it as medicine. More on this book later.

So 2019 has started off well. It’s been warm here, well over freezing and I’m enjoying meeting new colleagues and learning new skills. It’s melancholy to put away Christmas decorations because I feel that now I have the time to savor them, whereas leading up to Christmas there’s so much frenzy that I don’t. I think I prefer the post Christmas days to early December.

 

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 tell you that I had a good Christmas. My sister and her two kids came for about a week. After mass at my niece’s high school on Christmas Eve we went downtown for dinner with my dad’s side of the family. Christmas itself started with a special breakfast, opening presents and later finished with a great dinner.

I worked on Wednesday to Friday and am getting a lay of the land. Wednesday I worked at the other branch. It has a completely different vibe. Both are pleasant, but it’s interesting how though they’re so close to each other, there’s a discernible difference. I had more time in the makerspace and I’m finding it quite fun to learn what can be done with the various machines.

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A must-see

I lucked out and got to go to The Woman in Black at the Royal George Theater on Saturday. I got to watch a Humphrey Bogart movie, All Through the Night and Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress I recommend all of these.

Also on Sunday I explored a church from a list of the Must-See Chicago churches. St. Hedwig’s was stunning. It’s wonderful to see that the community supports this treasure.

I’m savoring the hygge and slower pace of the post-Christmas season.