Weekend Update

The lovely Erin does weekend updates on her blog and I've enjoyed them so much that I've decided to flatter her by imitation.

I'll actually start with last weekend because it was noteworthy.

Technically it was Thursday, but Erin and I attended the Selena Gomez concert. I had very low expectations and going into it regretted buying the tickets. However, the concert was fun, entertaining, and well-done. I would totally go again and recommend it to others, even if they aren't Selena Gomez fans. 

I've wanted to chop my hair off for a while and last weekend I got the courage/necessary impulsivity. Here are the before, during, and after photo.

Erin is part of Junior League and they hosted a tasting for their local cookbook. In addition to trying the food featured int he cookbook, I got to be snobby with Erin and Jane. I ended up buying the cookbook from the Junior League in Chattanooga... I needed to know more about Yankee Glazed Chicken. 

Sunday Erin, Jane, and I attended the St Cecilia's Day concert at the Cathedral of the Madeline.

And moving on to this weekend!

Steph and I saw a well-done local production of In the Heights. I really love this show so I'm always thankful when it is enjoyable. Note: Steph does my hair.

The next night  I met up with these lovely chicas for the amazingly moving and important show Next to Normal. If you ever have a chance to see it, do - probably twice. And be wise like the man behind us who actually brought a box of tissues.

Saturday project was this lovely thing. I bought it online for $15 and spray painted it this lovely blue. Thanks to Heidikins for the bulb idea (ex-nay on those candle wannabes). It was installed by Bradley - who is back in town - and thank goodness he did it because I would have surely killed myself. 

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy so after our success with the chandelier we attended the JFK tribute symphony. Lovely to see Bradley as always. 



Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago (along with my mom) to give a presentation at a conference. We enjoyed our four days in the city we'd visited just once before (15 years ago).
This is the Glessner House, built in 1886. The photo on the top left is actually the inner courtyard. The front door is the bottom left photo and the photo of my mom and me. The side of the house is on the top left. The architect, HH Richardson, made the outside a bit of a fortress but all the inner rooms of the house face the courtyard for sunshine purposes. Also, it's gorgeously autumn in Chicago. 
On the way to my presentation we passed this little grocery store, Aldi. Umm, y'all this is a German grocery story. It's not even set up like an American store. The merchandise is stacked. There is very little to choose from but it's all good (like "stop light" peppers in threes - why doesn't every store sell them this way?). The cashiers sit, you bag your own groceries, and even the till is different. Most important, however, was the fact that they had my German Christmas cookies (which I stocked up on) and the price was no higher than it'd be in Germany. So basically it was like Christmas
 I presented on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in a residential treatment center. I'm sorry, are you snoring?  I presented very well on it, if I do say so myself. And to prove I can never grow up: I needed my mom to tell me it was good before I could relax. Also, she is my official photographer. 
We visited the Art Institute of Chicago and because time was limited we were able to take in just the Thorne Miniatures (so awesome and so not possible to capture in a photo) and the Impressionists. They have a wonderful collection - a whole room of Monet - and enough Degas (my fav) to satisfy me. The prized possession is La Grande Jatte, by Seraut (the painting featured in the Sondheim play Sunday in the Park with George). It was more amazing that I had supposed it would be. It's impressive to see in the real because it's pointillism, which is a trip. 
And of course Van Gogh. The paint is so thick I can't believe it was never smudged. Thrilling to see. 
We saw two plays. Northwestern did a fantastic 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the Raven Theater did a moving Trip to Bountiful (I really thought she was going to die). 
And we had to get deep dish pizza. So very deep. I think I ate an inch of cheese. Not complaining. 
I am a social worker and a good person so we had to visit Jane Addams' Hull House, where it all started. It was not the best museum I've ever been too, but I was moved and I need to study more about Jane Addams - she was kind of G. 
Had to visit the Cubbies if I love my grandmother at all (which I do).
Shedd Aquarium is lovely and there are beluga whales so pretty much life is amazing. We also saw a dolphin show and penguins. Mom liked the fish that keep their young in their mouth and I fancied some jelly fish. Little tip, we got valetparking which enabled us to go to the "will call" line and skip the line eternal pictures at the bottom left. Get valet and you will save yourself hours in line. 


Walt Grace

Music makes me really happy. I really connect with songs lyrically and musically. My favorite artists can do both (see Fun. for example). In pondering how much I love music I asked myself what song I really, really identify with. Is there a song where I say, The artist has captured my experience?
Um, not really.
For example, I connect with Adele’s Someone Like You – it’s musically and lyrically genius in my mind. And I've felt emotional when listening to it but then it occurred to me that nothing like that has ever happened to me. Ever.
I went through all of my currents fav songs and struggled to find one where I’d say That one captures my experience.
Maybe there are lots of reasons for art. Books, for example, are a great way to learn and “experience” things that you otherwise could not. Lots of media is great for escapism. Some art is designed to get me to think of things in a new way or create awareness.
But isn't one reason for art to express what I cannot? To show me myself when I cannot? Or, at least, to show me that I’m not alone?
In the midst of this existential art crisis I remembered one song that I do relate to, like actually. It does for me what I think it should – expresses what I cannot and shows me I’m not alone for thinking and feeling so.
This song is written by John Mayer and on his brilliant album Born and Raised. The song is a story about taking big risks in the attempt to accomplish a Big Idea. 
John didn't make a music video for it but I found this one that’s pretty rad. Have a listen to Walt Grace's Submarine Test, January 1967

The musicality of the song is fantastic with a great forward momentum and a crescendo at the end when the story everything resolves. The tune and rhythm are simple, just right for storytelling.  Lyrically, it’s brilliant with clever rhymes and a moving story*.  It’s the story that really hits home because I've felt this way about my life and my activities. I could write more in depth about all the meaning this song has more, lyrically and musically, for me but that’s probably not generally interesting and could take away from the meaning the song might have for you. The point is that I identify with the song. It relates to my life. I’m going to be on the hunt for more songs (and art in general) that really describes my experience.
What songs do you truly, madly, deeply relate to?

*Shockingly, this is a completely fictional story. John Mayer just got cooler.