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, we’d be on our patio so we can enjoy the warm weather, the blue sky and the quiet as the roof is completely finished.

I’d tell you that I finished reading Swann’s Way, the first book in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. It’s a challenging, beautiful book. I savored it and didn’t want to finish reading it. I had read it in 2008 and a friend suggested be both read and discuss it. I enjoy reading and discussing this sort of book with my wise, well read friend. Proust jams so much observation in every page so I didn’t want to finish the story (even though I can read the next one anytime).

On Friday I went with a group of women to bring lunch to the police at a station in Chicago. It was great to show them some support and to let them know that people are grateful and know that not all cops are rotten. Most are brave and professional.

We had more protests cum riots in Chicago yesterday. When will this stop? This weekend (and Sunday isn’t even over) 50 people have been shot and 4 of those were killed. The riots yesterday resulted in 17 police injured and 24 people arrested for aggravated assault.

 

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 what the schools are doing in your town vis-a-vis reopening. Every school seems to have a different approach even in areas with the same CCP Virus statistics. Then they form a plan and change it. Some people think the schools require special ventilation even if they have windows that open, i.e. the system used throughout the world and advocated by healthcare professionals. Now some schools and offices don’t have windows that open, which is a shame.

I’d tell you that work is proceeding along. It’s hard to get people who don’t want to do the census to do it, but there you are. Many think that although the Census did get a two month extension it’s not enough time to complete it. They seem to not know that we’ve already got higher response rates in much of the country compared to 2010. If people have seen thousands of ads and received mailings that they throw out, another month isn’t going to help.

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Easy Living 1937

I would recommend you see Easy Living with Jean Arthur from 1937. It’s a fun screwball comedy and I’ll soon post a review.

I’m learning a lot about Albany Park, the Chicago neighborhood where I’m working almost every day. It’s a neighborhood with lots of diversity. I’ve come across a lot of people from Korea, Syria, Latin America and Mexico.

I’d tell you that we had a fun barbecue last night to honor my niece’s departure for her sophomore year of college. She leaves this morning for University of South Carolina. I hope she gets a full semester there. She’ll have 5 of 7 classes online. This year she’s in an apartment so if they do close down, she can stay down there.

Last week we had roofers installing a new roof. Every home in this subdivision has to get one. Ugh. It’s been quite a controversy for 3 years as many people don’t need new roofs but everyone’s got to have the same look. The workers from Apex roofing were terrific, but it’s a hell of a lot of noise from early morning till about 6pm. I am working in the field much of the day, but not all day. I tried to escape the noise, but there’s no seating in the library, the nearest Starbucks only has outdoor seating and across the parking lot is a fitness center that’s moved outside and the exercise music and coach’s yelling are not the same as the usual café music so that wasn’t a good spot to work. I wound up taking my conference call in my car in another parking lot.

 

 

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 invite you for tea or coffee on my patio. There’s a lot of greenery and we could watch the chipmunks and the occasional rabbit hop by. We might be lucky enough to see a crane that visits every so often.

I’d tell you that I just finished Getting the Best Care: Rescue your loved one from the healthcare conveyor belt. I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s got aging relatives or who is thinking of their own wishes for healthcare in case they get dementia or other debilitating conditions. It’s full of know-how about the hospital and the medical system and how you won’t be run over dominated or confused.

I’d tell you that I attended an absorbing Zoom meeting about the opening of high schools here. An ER doctor began by presenting the situation in her hospital. She teaches on the South Side of Chicago. She told us that the big spike in CCP Virus was in March and April. Now the virus is like “background noise.” Most of her patients have the same sort of maladies as they had this time last year. She updated us on how doctors in other specialities (i.e. not ER) were afraid to return to the hospital, but after two weeks acclimated.

I saw the 1964 version of The Killers with Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan. Boy, is that a compelling film!

I finished two graphic novels in the Hereville series, How Mirka Caught a Fish and How Mirka Met a Meteorite. Both were fun, clever storie of a girl with lots of spirit.

The other speaker was a statistician who noted that in the local high school 67% of teachers were under age 50. The data showed that in this area 8 people have died of Corona and that no children have. In essence these experts advocate for school in the classroom in the fall with reasonable accommodations. He had a lot of data on the effects of the virus on kids and how it’s rare for a child to transmit it to a teacher.

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It’s summer!

(Note: a friend told me that in Israel there was a case of a child infecting a student, and I found this article about an Israeli kindergarten teacher who believes she was infected by a student. It hasn’t been conclusively confirmed. Perhaps there’s another incident.)

In a nutshell, the thinking is that other professions have come to grips with working in new ways during the CCP Virus Pandemic and schools can to. It was a mistake to have closed them in the spring, but no one knew that. We thought millions would die.

This work week had some ups and downs. The high point was attending a summer concert in a park in Evanston to get people to do the Census. There was a good crowd, but everyone was distanced and wore masks when moving around. The band played hits from Motown, Prince and Koko Taylor. The weather was nice and we got 2 people to do the Census, which wasn’t great, but was something.

On Friday we had a lot of challenge. We were assigned to a train station in the city at the end of the Brown line. Three of us set up our table, and had our devices ready. Soon a homeless man told us we were in his living room, i.e. outside the station. Clearly, the man needed help. He had no shoes. His ranting and later constant heckling showed that he wasn’t of sound mind, but at the same time, we did have work to do. I contemplated moving our table but then thought no one would see us.

There were other homeless people there, but only one who misunderstood something a coworker said, left us alone. That guy who thought he’d been insulted turned back and threatened to harm my colleague. As the day wore on, first guy drank more and more vodka (no doubt to self-medicate) so he got more belligerent and told us off. He did not like us there. Then a young man, probably in his 20s, came by to protect us. He got a bit loud and told the first man he was going to kick his ass if he didn’t leave us alone. It looked like things were going to get worse.

I saw a police car across the street and went to talk about our options. We didn’t want the man arrested, but we did want to be left alone. They knew all the people at the station and we discussed if having them walk over would make matters worse. There was no way to know. In the end, we wound up leaving early. We certainly earned our money on Friday.

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, would go out. It’s sunny and lots of places are open for outdoor dining. We won’t have warm weather forever so we’d be outside.

I tell you that I went out to lunch with a friend from high school. We went to Pinstripes, a restaurant with a beautiful area for outside dining. It looks out to a hill and fields of wild flowers. The service was attentive and, yes, safe.

My friend teaches high school and she’ll be returning to school in a few weeks. They’re dividing students by alphabetic order. The first half of the alphabet goes on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday everyone is remote and Thursday and Friday are in class for the second half of the alphabet.

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I watched Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. It’s a compelling film noir, that I highly recommend. I also saw a Russian version made by Andrei Tarkovsky as a student.

Friday I went to my public library for the first time since the lock down. It was nice, but weird. First at the entrance a policeman in a mask was there. He asked me what I wanted to do and I explained I wanted to drop off and pick up books. He let me in. I went to the main desk and asked for my books and learned that even though the holds are kept right behind the circulation associates. I had to make an appointment for curbside pick up and the associate did that for me. (The appointment had to be at least two days out.)

I wanted some quick reads so I went upstairs. There was easy access to the new books but everything else was behind yellow tape that said CAUTION. The youth section and DVDs were the same. A lot was off limits. Staff all had masks and worked at least 6 feet apart from each other. All the tables and chairs were moved into the corners and chairs were put upside down on top of other chairs. Some tables were covered with tarps. It all looked very off-putting.

I chatted with a librarian I knew, which was probably the highlight before I got a book and some DVDs. As much as I love my library, I won’t hurry back. It’s a rather unfriendly, odd experience.

 

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

 

pull_up-_a_seat-badge

For this weekly challenge Xingfu Mama will make a post every Friday morning. To play along: Create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view.

  • Add a tag “Pull up a Seat”.
  • Add a link to your post in the Pull up a Seat comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.
artiist

Painting in a Gold Coast art studio, 2018

You can see more posts by clicking here.

Come join the fun!

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 in person, we’d be at a small café called Leonida’s, which now has outside seating. Otherwise, I’d suggest meeting outside as I did with a couple friends. We chatted in the fresh air for an hour or so. It was so nice to see friends without a screen between us.

My family celebrated Father’s Day three times. On Saturday, we had a Zoom with my sisters in Connecticut and Utah and their families. They treated us to a wonderful take out dinner.  To abide by the 10 person government WuFlu guidelines, yesterday my brother in LaGrange and his family came for lunch, which we shared on our patio and my other brother and his family came for a barbecue. So glad we had good weather.

There’s a lot of drama at work and I’m trying to get a transfer. It’s a long shot, but my fingers are crossed.

I’m making good progress reading Proust’s Swann’s Way, the first book of his In Search of Lost Time. The style is beautiful and mesmerizing, so much so that I can only read 15 pages a day to savor it. It’s sad that a small number of hooligans can wreak such havoc.
5eee5fbe5352fgrant-destruction
I’m gleeful at the prospect of the library opening tomorrow for pick up. It’s been too long. I do still miss being able to select by browsing. One day . . . .

I’m disturbed by the wholesale destruction in parts of the country. If you want to have a piece of public art removed, you can petition your local government or request this at a town hall meeting. Some people see to get high on destruction and they don’t know that some of the statues are of abolitionists and people like Lincoln or Grant who fought to end slavery. Grant sent the national guard to the South to root out the KKK. Yet his statue has been pulled down in San Francisco.

Chicago had a horrendous weekend in terms of violence. Over 100 shot and 13 killed. Some of this is due to the governor releasing prisoners for COVID, but I really can’t explain the rest of it. Lots of theories for the cause (gangs, guns, but few solutions.

In Minneapolis there was a senseless shooting just 2 blocks from my nephew’s apartment. One killed and 12 wounded. I hope they soon find the shooters. I think a lot of the destruction isn’t about justice, it’s about power and evil.

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

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Northbrook, Illinois 2020

 

pull_up-_a_seat-badge

For this weekly challenge Xingfu Mama will make a post every Friday morning. To play along:Create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view.

  • Add a tag “Pull up a Seat”.
  • Add a link to your post in the Pull up a Seat comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.

You can see more posts by clicking here.

Come join the fun!

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.