Thursday, September 24, 2009

Visit from Dad means finally getting out on the water.

My dad, the sailor, came for a visit last weekend. Although he's recovering from a surgery and laying low for a while he managed to get me and Nate out onto Lake Michigan for an afternoon to watch the Shields' Nationals, which were held at the Chicago Yacht Club - Belmont Harbor this year.
We were out on a gorgeous cruiser of a boat, hosted by the Tevorek family. Their son was racing on one of the Shields and ended up coming in 2nd place, I believe. Before even leaving the dock, Nate and I had a good time watching this boat, Water Works, getting its mast taken out. We first noticed the boat because of its name, of course. If you consider the sidewalk square I found in an earlier post, you will see that I am starting a collection, if you will, of Monopoly spaces.
The weather was absolutely perfect - the sky clear and the wind sufficiently windy (for lack of a better word). The water out on Lake Michigan is weirdly choppy though - I could not get my old sea legs under me, so Nate and I packed it in and went home after the first race (of two that day).
That evening we were treated to an amazing dinner at the Yacht Club before the awards ceremony. Awwww, I miss my yacht club days!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Very summery weekend - better late than never.

We've finally had some perfect summer weather here in Chicago. We had to wait until mid-September, but I guess it was worth waiting.
On Saturday it was perfectly sunny and clear for a cookout at Kian's (far right in the photo) apartment in Hyde Park. His building has a great back yard with gardens, a jungle gym and a swingset which of course we had to try out. The food was amazing - although it was mostly traditional cookout fare, all the dishes were prepared with a Persian flair.

I had Eggs Benedict, which was anything but traditional, with pork belly and spinach hollondaise. And it was served with such panache - I felt like I was the guest judge on an episode of Top Chef. Nobody's getting eliminated at this breakfast!
After having our fill at Jam, we walked up to the Renegade handcraft fair, where we spent hours poring over all kinds of clever products. I bought some great glass bicycle coasters from Kiku handmade (a gift for Nate and myself), some christmas tree ornaments from K Studio, and a lacy necklace from Cursive design. I also eyed objects by Tartella, Megan Lee Designs, Mok Duk (perhaps wedding invitations someday?), and Raquel Masri.
It was a great day for collecting project ideas and people watching. One of the vendors had brought a pet hedgehog with her which I found irresistible and I had to take a picture. We took a gelato break before making our final purchases. I love hazelnut gelato whenever I can get it!
Lots of work to do before the Renegade Christmas fair in early December. Time to consult the crafting to-do list!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day weekend continued

On Monday, unlike most of the country, I was working. Luckily my students' families had requested earlier lessons that day so that they could go to cookouts and things, which left me with a whole afternoon off to spend with Nate, lounging around the house.
Far from lounging; I completed a project I had been thinking about for a while: repotting my indoor plants. Since I had finally gotten some plants that are thriving, I thought I should give them some bigger pots to grow in. The pots I bought at Ikea on Saturday were lovely but had no holes in the bottom, so I made a quick trip to Home Depot and got a glass and tile-cutting drill bit. It was a pretty easy and rewarding project, and now my spathiphyllum has some room to stretch, and hopefully continue blooming.
For dinner, we ventured out into the neighborhood and discovered a new (to us) pizza place on Lincoln Ave., Pat's Pizza. It's thin crust and we agreed it would definitely be worth coming back to, even though we rarely eat pizza.
The big excitement later this week was Beatles Rock Band. It came in the mail on Wednesday and by Thursday night we had played and unlocked all of the songs. One of the projects for the weekend is to get Nate to learn to sing so that he can do harmonies with me. The other event this weekend is:
the ladies and I are going on Sunday :-)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day weekend Staycation

It's been a good Labor Day weekend. Technically it's still going, but I'm off to teach a few lessons this morning before lying around again all afternoon (hopefully getting a little more quilting done).
On Saturday Nate the Great and I walked on over to Lenscrafters to get him new glasses - his first new pair in the whole 7 1/2 years I've known him. Then in the afternoon I was off to Ikea with Jenny (photographer of this pic of Ikea carts) where I picked up a red bookcase for my piano music and new towels and a shower curtain for my guest bathroom. I also got some new pots for my indoor plants, which are growing quite nicely, but I have to drill some holes in the bottom before I can actually use them.
Saturday evening was spent on Dan and Katy's roof deck enjoying the sunset, a few beers and each others' company. We had a little mustache theme going for the night - both real and sharpied. Later, when it got colder and we gathered inside, I discovered a wonderful Ripley's Believe It or Not coffee table book they have and had a great time reading about people's funny names. Did you know that Iccolo Miccolo played the piccolo in the LA Philharmonic?
Sunday was spent baking lemon ginger cookies, watching The Sound of Music, and putting together my new bookcase. Around 6 we headed over to Karla's where she stuffed us all full of spring rolls - her family's warm weather Sunday tradition. I can't wait for dumplings in a month or so!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thank God it's Hugh-Day

Yesterday I kicked it (back) into high gear with some crafting. After whipping together some cookie dough for an upcoming get-together and throwing a sweater into the washer to felt, I finally got to quilting my Colgate quilt. It'll be a long process because I'm doing the quilting by hand, but it's easier than the previous Hotchkiss quilt I did (will post pics at another date) because I have made up templates of the images I'm quilting into it that I can trace each time. So now I just need a lot of time and a less tense back and I should get it done before you know it.
And keeping me company the whole day was Hugh Grant - I had a mini-marathon of "some absolute classics" - Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks Notice and Notting Hill. Aahh Hugh.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

dotted rhythms, dot dot dot

Tonight I was teaching a Beethoven Sonata to a student and almost corrected him on a rhythm. Luckily I double-checked before I actually said anything because it turns out that he was playing the right rhythm and I was the one who had learned it wrong - so many years ago!
So am I a good teacher because he knew to play it right, or am I a bad student because I had learned it wrong in the first place?