Friday, December 31, 2010

FreedomFreedom by Jonathan Franzen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just as he did in The Corrections, Franzen tells the story of a complex family (but what family isn't complex, at some level?) from the viewpoint of almost every family member (I do have to wonder why the daughter never got a chance to tell her story).  Just when you get comfortable with one narrator, you're whisked away to another one, who you learn to love just as much, and you see the first narrator in a totally new light.  This book really makes you think about strange political issues (birds?  you really want me to care about birds now?) and makes you question what you're doing to help the world, at least that's what it did for me.  The characters can disgust you at times, then surprise you when you realize that you love them, then surprise you again, when you realize how much they are like yourself, in their disgusting loveliness.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Festivus for All of Us.

Friday night was my annual Holiday Party/carol sing/gift exchange.  It was another huge success, with 3 bowls of punch being drunk up by about 20 people.  (that's 2 handles of vodka, 6 bottles of champagne, etc.)  Needless to say it was a long, loud evening and I hope my downstairs neighbors don't hate me!
        Christmas Carols later turned to a Guns 'n' Roses singalong by the piano, and I got a ShamWow from my secret santa, which had to be used soon after for multiple spills.  Yesterday was spent mopping my floors, then lying on the couch for 9 hours at my friend Anna's "hangover party," watching some great Christmas movies and Point Break.  Since most of my party pictures need to be censored (ahem), I will pass on this one little gem, when, late in the evening, I was convinced to get out my accordion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gingerbread Houses, of a sort

I've been meaning to blog for a while, and believe me I've had lots of interesting things to write about, but I've been too busy to write!  Worse things could happen, I know.
             Anyway, what I'll write about in this quick post is about a quick little thank-you gift I made the other day for my Architecture History professor, who is writing some grad school recommendations for me.  In the very spirit of our class, I made my traditional gingerbread cookies with buttercream frosting, which I've been giving as holiday gifts since grade school, with a bit of an architectural twist.
            A few weeks ago I bought house cookie-cutters - to cut walls and a roof for a gingerbread house.  I haven't made a 3-D house yet, but I used them this week to make some facades.
I made a gingerbread Frank Lloyd Wright Home (minus the studio):
A gingerbread Farnsworth House, by Mies Van Der Rohe:
and a gingerbread AT&T Building (now the Sony Center), by Philip Johnson:

I hope that the cookies look this good when he opens the box, but I highly doubt they will since they got jostled some on the train ride downtown, which, by the way, was on the CTA holiday express.  I wish I had had my camera with me (I got this pic from the internet) for that magical train ride (ehhhh) but I will have the visual memory forever.