Saturday, November 22, 2008

Exquisite City

Last Saturday, the kids and I went to see a very cool exhibit, "Exquisite City," in a theater on the North Side of Chicago. As in the old game "Exquisite Corpse," the artists who contributed to this show were each asked to imagine, in cardboard, one city block in Chicago--without knowing how the other artists were picturing the assignment. Astrid was clearly feeling like Godzilla as she stomped around the "streets" of the miniature city--and I was a little nervous that one or more blocks might tumble in her wake. But both she and Elliot were impressed by the level of detail many of the artists achieved, as well as the humor and weirdness of many of their creations. In the same place, there was a little voyeurs' heaven....a wall full of windows into which we could stare. Elliot and I really liked the Mexican wrestler with the knife in his back. Astrid was not so delighted by this window.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Talking after class

Lately I've been getting home around 8 or 9 on Thursday evenings. I teach from 2-4:30, but I've been observing other instructors' evening courses--so by the time I've sat in on the first half of someone's class, I still have an hour-long commute home, often in very dark and rainy weather. I'm *really* tired on these evenings, but also a little wired (adrenaline from my dark drive, I guess).

Tonight I got home in time to kiss Elliot goodnight, and then I sat on the couch with Terry just chatting. For some reason, this is something we don't get to do all that often, so it was very, very nice. The best part of chatting was this: Terry recounted for me a conversation he'd had walking home from Elliot's school. The conversation consisted of Elliot explaining how he'd worked a math problem involving cube roots--how he'd set up the equation, the false starts and missteps he'd made, and how he did the whole thing without using any "materials" (he's a Montessori kid).

I'm sure that long ago I learned how to do whatever it was Elliot had to do today (I used to love math), but I don't remember how to do it, or even why it's a good thing to know how to do. But there was something very sweet to me about Elliot walking his dad through a problem that really interested him, and then knowing that his interest mattered enough to his father that Terry would remember what Elliot said and then tell me about it--especially when he knows that I don't get the math. Terry admires both of our kids' thinking, and his love for them comes through so clearly when he's telling me what's going on in their heads.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Marathon sewing lady

No pictures right now, but man, have I been a-sewin'! While Elliot was away at Nature's Classroom in Wisconsin last week, I wanted to sew him a new bathrobe (with Malden Mill's polarfleece that I got for $1.95/yard at I bought four yards each of brown, grey, and wine). I was able to trace off the pattern and cut the fleece by Thursday evening, but I was worried that I wouldn't get to do any actual sewing before he came home on Friday afternoon at 2. I got up early on Friday, got Astrid to school, and sewed non-stop until 12:30. Done! And it looks great: a deep chocolate brown, with nice big patch pockets. All Elliot needs now is a pipe to smoke....

On Saturday, I started working on pants for Astrid. Unfortunately, the polarfleece is a bit heavy for pants--the construction of which I'd hoped to streamline by using foldover elastic. I made one pair from the fleece and had to do a regular elastic casing. Then I pulled apart three *way* outgrown pairs of jeans I sewed for Elliot and used them to cut out three pairs of jeans for Astrid. I've got one sewn and I hope I can get to the others tonight or tomorrow. Since the fleece didn't work too well for regular pants, I think I'll use a lot of it for winter pajamas---maybe even some for me....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tired and happy....happy!

I've been super-busy with papers to grade, sick kids, Halloween costumes to make....and a new blog I've been writing for work. (As you know, life blog and work blog must never cross the life blog has been on hold while I've been getting the work blog up and running).

None of this matters, of course....what *matters* is my pictures from Election Day! I work across the street from Grant Park in Chicago, and, while I decided not to stay downtown for the rally (I wanted to be home with my husband), I really wanted to document my experience of living through the giddy tension of the hours before election returns came in. I even walked over to Sears to buy a nifty little ultracompact, as I didn't have our clunky (but beloved) old digital camera with me. An expensive, impulsive purchase, but I'm glad I did it.

What a day! What a night! What a speech! It's a gooder-than-usual day to be alive.