Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chicago, Chicago....more images

The Bean (Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor) is just so neat that I took lots of photos of it. Taking pictures underneath is especially neat! In Millennium park this is a fountain with faces that change, eyes open and close, and periodically "spits" water out of the mouths onto the people waiting below. The old band shell is gone, the new band shell is called Pritzker Pavillion and the cross over structure is a sound system. It's great looking and the sound is all around you.

There's a big red Alexander Calder sculpture in a plaza, and a BIG sculpture of the Grant Wood couple (from the painting American Gothic) in another plaza. See tiny me? The photo of the elevated train station is for my nostalgia trip. How many times I went up and down stairs like these while growing up and while working in the city. When I wore high thin heeled shoes, these steps were treacheous! They were well known for their ability to catch and break off a heel. And in Chicago ART IS REAL for sure, it's all around.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chicago, Chicago

This is my very own photo of The Bean, which is really named Cloud Gate, a sculpture by Anish Kapoor. I took lots and lots of photos of this which you can check out on my Flickr set here. This is the new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano. C went to school here. We did reminiscing, seeing what was the same and what had changed.

I loved this little sculpture of a monkey mom and child, and the nice view of the big buddha. The Wrigley building is a very famous Chicago landmark (C worked in it) and behind it is the new Trump Tower. Our hotel was very close to this location.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Going to Chicago.....

I remember hearing this song for the first time on a record by Lambert Hendricks and Ross way back, way back. And now, we're headed back to Chicago for a short "walk" down memory lane. Hope I'll have lots of good photos to share with you. Here's one from Millennium Park, (taken by MissHedgehog.) I can't wait to see this in person. Back soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pens and Pencils

Here are two photos of the Parker 51. What a beautiful design with the point included in the barrel of the pen. It writes wonderfully well. In the pen group photo, the bottom two pens are by Sheaffer. The dark green transparent barrel one (doesn't show up so well but it's next to the red pen) is the one I remember as the first pen I ever had that used cartridges for ink. We loved not having to lug around bottles of ink. The Red one is a recent design. The upper group includes a Stypen from Paris (green and yellow) which writes very smoothly. Stypen became part of the BIC company but is still it's own brand. The other 2, like the green one in the previous post, which I mistook for a student pen from Paris, are Rotring pens. I now remember I bought all three when they were on sale (Maybe at Kate's in NYC) and I couldn't decide which color I liked best. They, too, write very smoothly.

Besides fountain pens, I like automatic pencils, which keep a point better than a "regular" pencil. I like sharp pencils!

The two pencils to the left are classic Scripto. One is marked Classic Mexico. I remember these from high school. The double pointed pencil has the word Autopoint on the body and clip. Red lead on one end, black on the other; maybe meant for a teacher's marking pencil. The pencil in the middle is a Parker with a gold arrow clip. It feels great in the hand and belonged to my father. The silver metal (aluminum) faceted side pencil is from Muji. I like that I can put it down and it doesn't roll. Next to it is a nice, slim pencil with no identification and I have no memory of where it came from.

The last two items are a boxed set, pencil and ball point pen (which I don't usually like to write with except on certain slick papers) were probably a gift from someone to my husband. The back of the container says GOODWILL with the word Japan under it. The pencil has a nice heavy feeling to it.

So there you have it, my pen and pencil collection, except for one other Waterman pen that has a broken nib and will eventually go to the pen doctor.

So go find a pen, any kind of pen, and some paper and write a letter. Get a nice stamp. Send it off to someone and make their day nicer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pens and letter writing.

I'm inspired to show you some of my fountain pens because I've been reading the Missive Maven's blog - here, and some pen related blogs - here & here. I found Missive Maven through a comment she made on the Letter Writers Alliance site. It's all linked together! Since finding M.M., I've written to her and received mail in return, and have been compelled to find and clean my pens and start to use them again. I'm not completely forsaking my Uni-ball Vision Elite, however.

In the photo, you see two of my Waterman Phileas pens on the left. One was chosen by my colleague Rebecca, many years ago. I love the way these pens write. The middle three are student pens which I picked up in Paris. The students there still use fountain pens, how cool is this?! The slim green one is an Elysees, which was one of the first pens that C bought for me. It needs to see a pen doctor. The one on the right is a Sheaffer pen (looks like the Legacy Heritage!) that I love, because it reminds me of my father who owned one of these in the 50s (possibly the same color.) It writes very nicely and I like the way the point is part of the barrel of the pen. I have several other pens that I'll post soon, including the gorgeous Parker 51, which C dug out of his trove and I will start to use as soon as I get some ink for it. Waterman black is recommended but I have that Sheaffer blue-black that is so classic. The purple circle is the top of a tiny tin that holds 6 small cartridges of purple ink from J. Herbin. I got it in Paris and haven't used any yet.

Even if you don't have a fountain pen, write a letter! Buy a neat looking stamp and surprise someone with a handwritten note! You'll make their day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A walk in the park.

I've joined my son and husband on their walks. Well, not exactly joined because they walk very fast and go for 4 miles on the vita course in our nearby Byrd park. I go slower and only twice around, while I listen to Spanish lessons (Showtime Spanish.) The park is lovely, lots of greens and green lawn and a well maintained pathway. Here are two views of a tree that has split down the middle. I don't think it was caused by the storm the other day, no scorch marks from lightening, but oh how a big tree came down like this is amazing to see. I hope to keep doing this with them, as long as my foot allows, as it's really nice to be out early in the day for a walk.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


We're in the midst of a big thunder storm. Thunder, lightening, hail....I'll post quickly before the lights and wireless go out again. The shelf was pretty full the other day. A CD, a coffee shop 2 for one card, a book of poetry by high school students, and the next day, a plastic kazoo, a StarTrek pez candy dispenser, some fake flowers, and a green Sharpie permanent market. I added a little plastic bag with a "fortune" in it (I'd received some of these from J.D.) and made up a "make-a-collage" kit and put that in a little plastic bag. I hope everything weathers this storm. HAIL! We just had hail!

My computer is on battery mode. I think unplugging things will be a good idea right now. I'm outta here!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A serious moment.....

If you know of anyone who is in emotional pain and might be in need of support, please let them know that there is help. Check out this site , Suicide Prevention Action Network, and spread the word.

Broad Appetit and Whodunit

Today is a beautiful sunny day. The sky is blue, the clouds are puffy, and Broad street between Monroe and Adams is filled with food. Chefs and bakers from lots of different businesses prepared their special treats, and everything cost only $3. The portions were ample and you could also get wine and beer to go with your food. There were samples of Laughing Cow cheese, Cabot's cheese and our own Duke's mayonaise. What did I eat? I had a delicious samosa, some barbecued tofu, and a little cupcake. I got to take a couple photos from before the event opened as we got downtown early to be in line at Ghostprint Gallery for the Whodunit show. Numbers were handed out in order and people got their chance to buy based on their number. Thus the line formed as people had their eye on a specific piece of work. I took a photo of the first 7 people in line. There was a steady interest and sales were made not only of the work from Whodunit, but from the illustration show that was also in the gallery. The crowds got larger as the day went on. We left around 3, by which time, it was hard to get near the food booths. It seems that this will be a successful event which is held to benefit the Foodbank and Meals on Wheels. (The landscape painting is from the show.)

Friday, June 05, 2009


Rain, rain, and more rain. We need it, but it sure makes for a dreary day. The rain let up for a bit so I took Smitty-dog out for a walk. We checked on the shelf and it's still soggily there, as is the basket someone hung off of it. The child's scissors are still there and some pennies. I am thinking about how to accomplish the suggestions made to my previous post. I'll have to come up with ways to protect whatever I do from the rain, small plastic bags (which I have lots of) or tins (which I have lots of) to keep paper dry will be do, also, not to be too conspicuous, as if the basket doesn't already call more attention to the spot. I'm so surprised that some "official" hasn't removed it yet. In any case, thanks to the three people, and the one who came in after the deadline. Treats are on their way. One commenter got the prize but the others will receive little treats. One person left no way for me to contact her but I hope she'll get in touch again with a way to reach her. Thanks for your help with this project. And now, here is another treat, this lovely flower on a bush growing around an abandoned mail box post.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pie, anyone?

I made a Lime pie today. The recipe is here.
I don't know why, but yesterday I got it into my head that I wanted to make a pie. This is my easiest pie recipe, and I made it even easier because I used a ready made graham cracker crumb crust.

Last night we had a really fierce storm with thunder and lightening. Smitty dog was terrified and had to be comforted by his best friend (a human being who is especially kind to him and happened to be visiting when the storm hit.) Later that night, I kept thinking about the shelf. Would it be okay? Silly me, of course it did fine. I'll be posting more about that soon.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Some images from the neighborhood

My neighbor who has a lot of rose bushes (which I always stop to smell) has lots of lavender this year bordering her front garden. It smells so delicious! A Japanese Iris managed to poke it's way up against this brick wall. As I came round the other side of this block, the old car was in it's usual spot....maybe it doesn't go?? It has great hub caps and the interior is lined with a skull patterned material. Coming back around to the shelf, we find that the basket is still there, so "we" (me and Smitty dog) leave behind some CDs that we want to share. Today, my "drawing" comes to an end. I'll pop the three names into a jar and have C pick one out. Someone will get something from me, soon.