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WI Fim fest – the rest

 

Sunday, Monday and Thursday's tickets

Sunday, Monday and Thursday’s tickets

Sunday was our biggest film fest day – three movies, starting with Gabrielle, about two sweet kids with disabilities, in love.  The woman who plays Gabrielle the character is also named Gabrielle – Gabrielle Marion-Rivard. She has Williams Syndrome in real life as in film; the actor that plays her boyfriend Martin does not have the same disability as his character, and the two actors and the director talk about that in this interview.

Gabrielle was at one of the best theaters for the film fest, the Marquee Room in Union South. Only a 15 minute walk back to our house. I originally thought we should just walk to Gabrielle, then walk to the Overture Center, Capitol Theater, where the 2nd movie was, then walk home and get the car to go to movie #3 at Sundance. Mark thought it would work better if one of us went to get the car between movies #1 and #2, while the others went to get a place in line. So I volunteered to get the car. Gave me a chance to check in with John, who was in one of his ready-to-quit-grad-school moods that day.

Movie #2 was Le Week-end, another one we’d wanted to see at TIFF, and couldn’t get in, and already in commercial release in NYC and other big cities.  I liked it the best of the three of us – Mark didn’t like it because it didn’t have enough of a narrative arc – nothing really happened. And he also decided a few days later that he didn’t really like the two main characters. I imagine that it was too much an old people movie for Toni. I don’t think I’d be good friends with either the Jim Broadbent character or the Lindsay Duncan character – but I liked both of them from time to time, him probably more than her – and I just liked a movie with older protagonists who are still figuring it out. And, even though it’s a Boomer cliché, still – as this Guardian 3-star review says – thinking you still want the same things you wanted in your youth, even if it’s unseemly at your age.

Our last movie on Sunday was Macaroni & Cheese – billed as the French Girls. Three young women on the prowl at a film festival, over-sharing their romantic and social triumphs & defeats by text. The most interesting thing is the inter-cutting of them talking about their film fest adventure, after the fact, with snippets of the real thing. We go back and forth between their discussion, when they’ve gotten together at the new apartment of one of the group, and made a pot of macaroni and cheese, and the film fest.

We got home in time to make a quick pizza – frozen homemade crust, quick sauce made from jarred roasted red peppers and tomato paste, and shredded mozzarella – to eat in front of the season premiere of Game of Thrones.

Monday it was just one film, The Congress. Mostly animated, with some live action – Robin Wright as an aging actress who sells her identity to the studio.  And becomes Rebel Robot Robin, mostly. The animation featured bright psychedelic colors and gave everyone anime eyes. We had pizza after this one, too, at Cafe Porta d’Alba. We got one with burata on top that was surprisingly good.

Rebel Robot Robin

Rebel Robot Robin

The-Congress-002

Tuesday we didn’t do any films – I had class.

Wednesday we went to see Kim Stanley Robinson.

Thursday our final film was Breathe In, about an exchange student and her host family. Totally predictable. The student  and the dad are attracted to each other and make ridiculous plans to run away together. The daughter sees them and figures it out, after being jilted by a boy she likes, and gets drunk and crashes the car she’s been given – total foreshadowing on that one. The mom figures it out and smashes the cookie jars that she collects and sells.  Mark said he would’ve liked the movie better if at least one character made one good decision in it – I agree. I thought, in the final scenes where we see the exchange student on a train, that she was going to go get on a plane and go back to the UK – that would’ve been a good decision – but instead she goes to meet the dad after his symphony concert, as arranged. Before they can take off, he gets the call that his daughter’s been hurt. All really pretty actors – I mean, Guy Pearce – and settings – Hudson River Valley – to watch. I wondered sometimes while I was watching it if all the people acted so stupid because they were rich, but as Mark pointed out, they really weren’t that rich. We got burgers after that one at the Great Dane.

So good movies, but overall a bit of disappointing film fest – the marketing wasn’t as good, the film selection wasn’t as good, and the volunteer coordination wasn’t as good, as all those things have been in years past.

 

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WI Film Fest, Friday & Saturday

 

Film fest (and weekend) flotsam: ticket stubs, including symphony; bagel ticket; book I bought at author event at the library

Film fest (and weekend) flotsam: ticket stubs, including symphony; bagel ticket; book I bought at author event at the library

So Friday was part of the film fest, although we didn’t go to any movies. We were supposed to, or at least I had two tickets for The Dog, a documentary about John Wojtowicz, the person who Al Pacino’s character in Dog Day Afternoon is based on. The Dog was showing at 4:15 in the afternoon. I had two tickets because Mark doesn’t “do” documentaries. The original plan was for Toni and me to go right after school and be back in time for Mark & I to go to the symphony, and Toni to go to back to school for a dance. But I would’ve had to leave work by 3:30 – ha, like that was going to happen. And Toni needed time to get ready for the dance. So no Dog. I read a review by a guy who saw it at the NY Film Fest, and hated it, and one from someone who saw it at SXSW and loved it, and watched an interview with the directors – still not sure if I’m happy or sad that I missed it.

I ate the last of the BBQ tofu for supper, and dropped Toni at a friend’s, to go to the dance, and then Mark and I still to time to do a real lightning stop at this art show at the old train station – quick before they turn it into a bike shop. Then off to the symphony. Home in time for Deadwood (that HBO is running in place of the Sopranos) and also managed to watch Johnny Depp and Joseph Arthur with Peter Buck and Mike Mills on Letterman, on my iPhone. They were all on on Thursday, also the night that Letterman announced his retirement. So that was Friday.

On Saturday, I got up and went for a walk to the bagel store. I ran into a neighbor, and we got caught up on what our kids were doing. Then I came back and Mark and I drove to the indoor market – I wanted to buy chickens for Passover so too heavy to carry home on foot. We dropped the chickens & other farmers market purchases off at the car, and walked around the square to get coffee and a bagel and a scone at Collectivo.

I did some work and fooled around with taking no-iPhone selfies.

I went back downtown at 2:30 to go to an author event at the public library that my friend Jenny told me about – the author is a rare book librarian at NYPL, who’s done a book about crafting, inspired by library resources.

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Our 2nd film was a set of shorts about The Lumberjack, the oldest movie made in WI. It’s a town movie, docu-dramas that were made by itinerant film companies in the early 1900s; film archives gold. Small film companies would travel to towns and small cities, and contract with the government and/or chamber of commerce to make movies that would show off the wonders of the town. They usually used citizens as volunteer actors. The Lumberjack was made in Wausau in 1914, by the Paragon Feature Film Company. I think this is a YouTube of one of Paragon’s other films, The Blisveldt Romance. The Wisconsin Center from Film and Theater Research got a grant to restore the Lumberjack in 2011. But really the best part of the program was Steve Schaller’s 1983 documentary about his work researching The Lumberjack, When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose – the title of a popular song of the era – you can hear it at Library of Congress. Anyways, in 1983, Schaller was in time to talk to some of the stars of the movie. He dubbed the tinted nitrate onto video, and there are some really sweet scenes of  Schaller sitting with elderly ladies seeing themselves and townspeople they remember on film, almost 70 years ago – then, 100 years ago now. And the woman who played the piano for the movies is amazing. In the film, Schaller has a huge jewfro and big square glasses – he came to the screening, with much smaller glasses and balder head.

Then we zipped home, dropped off Toin, so she could go to a benefit concert at school, and headed to Sundance for  Club Sandwich. We had wanted to see it at TIFF and couldn’t get in. It was enjoyable, but light. A single mom and 12-year old son vacationing in the off-season at a resort. The mom is starting to come to terms with the fact that her son is hitting puberty, not a little boy anymore. And to underscore the point, another family with a 13-year old girl shows up. One of the reviews I read said, “Commercial prospects for the sweet, exceedingly slender pic appear slight.”

filmfesttix

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I’ve always loved graham crackers

When I was a semi-anorexic teenager, I pretty much lived on graham crackers, coleslaw (from the deli at Giant Eagle), hard boiled eggs, and apples. Honey Maid graham crackers have always been a staple of my pantry – for late night secret snacks of microwave S’mores – which I seem to write about, but not photograph <grin>, pie crusts, and just to eat, plain or with peanut butter, or jam or Nutella. When the kids were little, a pre-daycare, in the car breakfast, was graham peanut butter sandwiches in a washed out yogurt cup, and of course I got to finish what they didn’t eat, after I dropped them off. I also used to like to break them up and eat them as cereal – so much better-tasting than Golden Grahams, even if they do get soggy really fast.

So this is totally great – reinforcing my love of graham crackers:

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WI Film Fest, 2014 – Day 1

Today’s the first day of the WI Film Fest. We’re going to one movie, Salvo. I think it’s kind of an Italian gangster movie – IMDB says the main character is a hit man. Toni’s film studies teacher recommended it.

The movie’s not until 8:45, so it’s already been a work day. Into the office at 9:00, to try to sort out what’s starting to sound like 35 or 36 library science grad students who want to do their required internships this summer. Last summer there were only 23 so I was able to supervise all of them, but with this many, I’m going to need help. We had a meeting in the afternoon with the branding company that we’re working with to try to come up with some new logos, and materials to hand out at conferences when we’re trying to recruit students, or go into conference programs, or online. It was kind of excruciating – I think we were expecting a little more facilitation from the consultant, in addition to the branding work. So afterwards, I just came home, feeling brain dead. And it was quarter to 5:00. So, I didn’t send a single email for the teaching event I’m planning for the first week of June, or look at the agenda for the phone meeting I have tomorrow.

I made stir fry veggies and rice, using up some of the dip veggies from the indoor barbecue – cauliflower and celery and broccoli. With toasted almonds and tofu.

Stirfy veg with tofu & almonds

Stirfy veg with tofu & almonds

And, it’s already been a week …. Monday and Tuesday John was as depressed about grad school as he’s ever been – so so was I. Monday I walked with Ann, then took my laptop in so that the tech guy could remove Windows XP. I worked at home the rest of the day, and got quite a bit done, but this seems to be the time of the year when there’re just a bunch of things that keep falling off the end of the to-do list. Tuesday morning I had a meeting, then came home, ate, and went to work the polls. I don’t know what it was that I ate – giant bowl of oatmeal with dates and bananas? the Bubbe prunes the day before? the hummus & pita I ate when I was on break at 4:30? – but by 6:30, 7:00 p.m. I was miserable with stomach pains. And, as an election official you are warned repeatedly not to expect to go home as soon as the polls close at 8:00 – you have to help make sure all the ballots are properly sealed up, and take apart the voting booths, and take down all the signs. Things looked pretty secure by 8:30, so I signed out, came home, got into pajamas, and made a big cup of ginger tea. Drank it and rested the warm cup on my belly while I watched an episode of House of Cards and the very last Sopranos ever. With cats to hold me down. Just adding the link got “Don’t stop believing” going through my head again.

And PS – we didn’t like Salvo much – it was supposed to have aspects of spaghetti Westerns, was filmed in ruined industrial landscapes in Italy, and the description made it sound like it was going to be sort of funny – going  to make fun of mafia hit men. But it wasn’t. It was slow moving and drab. The theater where it was shown is annoying too. It’s this brand new room in the Chazen – it can project anything, and has a great sound system – but the seats don’t even have enough leg room for someone the size of me. And they creak, and people were coughing – so the watching experience was as drab and slow moving as the film.

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Indoor BBQ

Last night was the 2nd Dinner at DebS.

There were 8 guests and three of us. It went pretty well, I think. We had a multi-generation group, WWII, Boomers, Gen X, 30-somethings, and one teenager.  I have been worried that these smaller diners might get awkward – this one had a few moments, but overall conversation flowed and people got along. Whew.

The theme was indoor barbecue. Even though it was a really nice day, relative to the weather we’ve been having – in the 40s and mostly sunny, and I could smell someone in the neighborhood outdoor barbecuing. Probably college kids, though, us old farts might as well be inside, as I said to some of my guests.

I made BBQ tofu and barbecue pulled chicken. I didn’t go to the indoor farmers market last weekend, so I didn’t get good chicken from Matt Smith. One of his 5 – 6 pound beauties would’ve been perfect. As it was I bought two roughly 3 – 4 pound whole almost-organic chickens at the grocery store. Roasted them Friday night, boned, shredded and mixed with BBQ sauce (also store). I made the tofu on Saturday – I used 1 1/2 boxes of tofu, but still made the same amount of sauce – that seemed to work great.

I made rosemary focaccia, and cut it into squares for the BBQ, and also bought a bag of Pepperidge Farm slider buns – I had a coupon.

For sides, we had macaroni salad – Joy of Cooking recipe, but I used frozen peas and roasted red peppers from a jar, for green and red, instead of one green bell pepper and one red one. And shallots instead of red onion. Veggies & dip – spicey dill dip, with carrots, celery, broccoli, golden beets, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. Hummus, with a few pita points. Oh and instead of making oven fries, I just opened a bag of  salt and pepper Kettle chips.

Dessert was S’more bars and rice krispie treats with Hershey bars melted on top – so all the desserts had chocolate and marshmallows. Not sure what Alice Waters would think – on Thursday night, when we went to hear her speak, she said you can’t compromise with the fast food lifestyle. If you’re trying to live the slow food life that is. I guess maybe I’m not.

Even though I did walk over and buy fancy $17 flowers at the local florist, instead of an $8 bunch from Whole Foods or Trader Schmoes. I put them in one of several gorgeous Rookwood vases I have from my grandmother’s house in Cincinnati – probably the only ceramic pieces I own that are worth anything. While we were sleeping, cats knocked it down. It flooded the tiled area under the pass through between the kitchen and the dining room, and I had a mess to clean up Sunday morning – but at least they didn’t break the vase.

We had egg sangwiches on leftover focaccia for Sunday brunch. And in the freezer I now have leftover chicken BBQ meat for Al, and an enchilada kit for John: the breast meat from one of the chickens, a yogurt bucket of enchilada sauce, and tortillas -  that I can take to them when we go to Chicago in April.

smorebars

S'more bars

smorebars2

S'more bars

smorebars3

S'more bars

vegdip

Veggies & dip - the golden beets were quite good as a dip vegetable

17_flowers

$17 flowers

17_flowers2

$17 flowers

eggsangwich
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Weekend wrapup

My spring break week wasn’t much of a break. Monday was my first day back after PLA. Tuesday I had to do a webinar – and it was John’s birthday. Wednesday I had to appear in court for my failure to remove snow ticket. Thursday I had two meetings – both of groups that I am co-chairing, where we’re filling in schedules for upcoming week-long events, (one in June, one in August) and a conference call. Friday I decided to work at home, because I needed to grade assignments for my online courses, write  two more assignments and post course content for all the units after spring break.

Since I didn’t have to get dressed, I started work early, and had enough done that we went to see an early show of Saving Mr. Banks at 4:30 at the cheap theater. I felt my phone vibrate while we were in the movie, and when we got out, there was a message from Rach that an artist friend had died suddenly on Thursday. I had just been chatting with him over beers on Tuesday, while Duffy’s band played.

We picked up Pasqual’s, went home, ate, and there was still time to do a little more work and watch the Sopranos at 10:00. It was an early movie. Oh, and I bought WI Film Fest tickets, too. We’d kind of been dragging our feet – tickets went on sale on March 8th. We got 9 films, and there’re a couple I’m pretty happy about. I’ll do my usual reporting when the Fest starts – April 3 – 10.

I went and got a leg wax Saturday AM at 8:00. The esthetician was a guy – first time I’d had a guy instead of female. I guess the salon I go to is adding more services for men. He’d just moved here from Chicago, so we talked about that. And winter driving – he just got his first car.

Went to the co-op, came home, washed my hair, and got dressed to go to a memorial for one our librarian friends. It was at the Moravian Church by Dudgeon School, that we could walk to. I’m really going to miss Mary Tipton – she looked like just an ordinary little old librarian lady, until she opened her mouth. She had a wicked sense of humor and was interested in everything. I usually saw her at the Farmers’ Market, making the rounds with two or three other retired and soon-to-be-retired librarians. She had a great smile – I am going to miss that smile all summer.

We were back from that by 2:00, so lots more time to work. Got all the assignments graded.

I made these sourdough biscuits and beef & vegetable soup – with tomatoes and corn, like my mom used to make. The biscuits were OK – they were from a very precise recipe, by someone really trying to historically, accurately, recreate biscuits of the 1880s – pre-baking powder. So he used controlled temperature proofing, and gives all the measurements in grams, ounces & cups…. I figured if these were campfire biscuits, I should be able to use some of this and some of that. I had fed my starter the Sunday before, but didn’t know if it was 100% hydration, and it hadn’t replenished at 76° for 12 hours ….

Sourdough biscuits

Sourdough biscuits

I guess Sunday was a good day. I got out for a walk. We had pie twice – bacon for breakfast and rhubarb for evening TV snack – using up last year’s rhubarb from the freezer, because it’s spring. I took the kids to Hilldale, and made a Sentry run, and got more work done on my class.

I made power bars (these are the ones from 2008) for my brother’s annual birthday bike ride. It’s 57 Varieties this year – but he’s pushed it back from March 29 to April 5 this year – so a little hard to get motivated. I used the Heidi Swanson recipe I’ve always used in the past – no fruit this year, and lots of coffee. I made the bars Sunday; I’ll try to get them sliced up and packed Monday night.

baconQ

Bacon Quiche

 

Rhubarb pie made with last year's frozen rhubarb

Rhubarb pie made with last year’s frozen rhubarb

But I can’t help feeling a little melancholy. That I am at the phase of life where death and memorials are the news and social events. Have to start interspersing, like Rach said, instead of so and so died, so and so went to London for 6 weeks, because they’re retired, or “oh Look, so and so’s got a new grandchild.”

The mail came so late on Saturday that I didn’t get it until Sunday morning when I went out for the papers. And it was all f**ked up. We got mail for just about every address on our even side of the block, 2122, 2124, 2128, 2134, 2136, and 2140. Some of it looks like bills – I know I got one neighbor’s MG&E bill – and one envelope looks like a check. So that was disturbing too.

misdeliveredmail

If there weren’t still dishes from pie making in the sink to be washed, I’d head straight for bed.

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Ah, Wisconsin

Back in February, I, as the landlord, got a failure to remove snow ticket for my rental – the supper club house – that I’m morphing into Dinner at DebS.

The court date was today. My renter Stephen, who does the shoveling, came along. We actually had kind of a good time; Stephen, who’s been a bartender at a hotel, seeing faces of people he’d served, and worked with, and reminiscing about Tom Leher songs, and Moose and Squirrel. I still have Poisoning Pigeons in the Park going thru my head; “my pulse will be quickening with each drop of strychnine”.

I pleaded not guilty so we could see the photo of the alleged offense. And also because we felt not guilty – we couldn’t think of any times when the snow left on the sidewalk was particularly egregious – plus, they have an Austin Mini, and they can’t even get out of the driveway unless they shovel.

So you go in, and you’re with a mass of nervous people worried about losing their licenses. You go to the judge and plead, and if it’s not guilty, then you talk to a prosecutor – these are first few years out of law school lawyers, who represent the city. We got a nice young lady, and we all commiserated about what a shitty winter it’s been. How even when there’s only been a little snow, it got really, really cold and froze. The photo showed a light cover of snow – you could see the pavement through it. Apparently, the ordinance says that if there’s that layer of snow, it must have salt or sand on it.

But here’s why I love WI – you promise to be better, and you don’t have to pay.

We apologized, and said we’d do better next year, and they hold the ticket open, and if we don’t get any more citations by March of next year – which of course we won’t because we’ll salt more next year – plus it probably just won’t be as snowy – then I don’t have to pay the $124 ticket.

Ah, Wisconsin.

It was about like this

It was just a bit more evenly covered than this

 

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Indianapolis, pt. 2

So when we got here, the librarians were sharing the conference area with dishwasher soap salesman – EcoLab. Now the Big 10 tournament folks are coming in – I think I waited in the Starbucks line with Penn State staff this morning. Starbucks in the Onmi Hotel, so one of the nicer hotels, and there were a bunch of guys in nice athletic gear, with Penn State Logos, and the  Penn State bus parked out front.

I walked a little further from the Convention center at noon on Thursday – thought I might go camp out in a Starbucks. But when I got there, it wasn’t a very nice Starbucks, so I went and had a cup of chili at the Old Point Tavern.

Old Point Tavern

Old Point Tavern

Walking back, I saw an abandoned diner I liked – the sign still rotates

abandoned luncheonette

abandoned luncheonette

abandoned luncheonette

abandoned luncheonette

And it became apparent that the Big 10 Tournament is moving in.

Indiana Monuments Circle with Big 10 tourney sign

Indiana Monuments Circle with Big 10 tourney sign

Illini Lane - didn't find the Badger street until tonight

Illini Lane – didn’t find the Badger street until Thursday night – it’s actually the block depicted above; the part of Meridian St. that deadends at the monuments, where we ate at Napolese Pizza

Big 10 tournament banner in the hotel

Big 10 tournament banner in the hotel

In addition to being an old train station, the hotel had all these plaster people hanging around (kind of like George Segal’s – these gay & lesbian couples used to be in Madison, but they got trashed, so went to Greenwich Village). There was a pair of nuns by the turn off to the lobby, and various other folks sitting on benches and of course a train porter. Here’s a combo of other blogger’s shots & official views from the hotel.

And here’re a couple of shots of Shapiro’s from our last morning (Friday) in Indy.

Shapiro's sign - there's cursive one on the side, but I didn't get a shot of that

Shapiro’s sign – there’s cursive one on the side, but I didn’t get a shot of that

From across the street, so you can see how big it is - my shadow in lower right. Meredith offered to take a picture with me in front of the sign, a Shapiro, at Shapiro's - too meta for me

From across the street, so you can see how big it is – my shadow in lower right. Meredith offered to take a picture with me in front of the sign, a Shapiro, at Shapiro’s – too meta for me

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Indianapolis

 

Breakfast & lunch at Shapiro's deli - tapioca, cup of cabbage borscht, toasted bagel and coffee

Breakfast & lunch at Shapiro’s deli – tapioca, cup of cabbage borscht, toasted bagel and coffee

I’m in Indianapolis for the Public Library Association Conference. We drove down Tuesday, leaving Madison at noon. It was 68° when we got to Indy last night – but the forecast was awful – 2 – 4 inches of heavy wet snow by 4:00 PM on Weds.

It was an easy drive – we elected to do the go right by Chicago route. There was a  traffic and congestion when we first got on 294. We stopped at the Des Plaines oasis, and wended through about a zillion trucks when we got back on the highway, but things cleared up fast.

The hotel’s in an old train station, so nicer than your average Crowne Plaza. Connected to the Convention Center via indoor walkways. We got checked in and went out looking for dinner. In the 68° weather – though it might’ve only been like 60° by then – 8:30 or so. Downtown Indianapolis is spotlessly clean – and by our hotel, it’s limited chain restaurant row – Starbucks, PF Changs, Panera, Old Spaghetti Factory, Bucca di Beppo, California Pizza Kitchen, Rock Bottom Brewery. We went to Granite City – another chain. I was texting with John, who hates grad school again, and fell and banged up my knee. Thank you, god, for ibuprofen.

indyrestarants

Indianapolis seems to be like Pittsburgh – everyone you meet is very chatty, and into your business – nebby. We found our waitress last night annoying – she kept asking, “slowing down already?” when we would’ve been happier with maybe one check in and then to be left alone with our food. In the morning, I went to CVS to get more ibuprofen, and the checker, in addition to apologizing to everyone for the wait (their self check station was down), said to me, “I hope someone’s feeling better soon”.

We set up the booth, and tried to find places with good wifi for work. I was saved from chain restaurant row by Shapiro’s Deli.  I yelped bagels and found them, and couldn’t have been happier. I asked the cashier if I got a family price because I’m a Shapiro. She asked if I was related, and I said all Shapiros are; we’re orginally from Russia. She didn’t get it – she said, “he’s not from Russia – he’s over there”. I went to introduce myself to Mr. Shapiro, and he understood – said his family was originally from Odessa. I said mine was from Minsk – Russia when they came here; I think it’s Belarus now – he said, “yes, they’re all from glad they didn’t miss the boat”. If I’d had more time, I woudve said my grandparents had a dry goods store on Staten Island that seems to have survived Hurricane Sandy and is a yoga studio now – seems like his branch of the Shapiros has had the Deli during the same years.

shapiros2

 

 

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The week that wasn’t

Or maybe week & a half. We’re talking about last week – March 3 – but this week – March 10 is also in the running. Everything is wasn’t, didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, can’t. I think everyone – or at least John and I – are stuck in the end-of-winter, time change, feel like it’s all getting away from me blues.

Rach was here last week – we got back from Chicago in time to pick her up Sunday, because we didn’t linger for brunch in Chicago, just a quick breakfast, so got back home sooner. Our cat sitters didn’t come on Saturday – but came by Sunday morning, a few hours before we did, so the kitties were all happy.

Mark and I shoveled snow, and I went grocery shopping, and then got Rach, and made apple crisp for us and tortilla casserole and ice cream pie for the dinner on Wisconsin kids who were coming Monday night. The apple crisp was good but could’ve had a higher ratio of apples to crisp.

Monday Rach & I walked to work together, and she went to dinner with friends while we ate with the students. Tuesday morning there was another 3-4 inches to shovel, and off to work again, but then Rach was too sick to go to work for the rest of the week. Tuesday night I had class, so didn’t make dinner – everyone was kind of on their own. Wednesday I worked at home – trying to stave off me getting the cold that everyone else had – drank two whole pots of tea. I forgot a work phone meeting that was supposed to be at 10:00 on Weds. morning. That night again, I think everyone just sorta scrounged their own dinners. Thursday I had some plan for leftovers that I can’t even recall – while I was walking home I decided that I wanted Chinese take-away, and hot & sour soup appealed to all the sickies. On Friday we had symphony tickets, so we all snacked beforehand. I finished what I could of the Hugh What’s His Face curry, and the Szechuan green beans from the night before. It was a shortish symphony with Yefim Bronfman. I came home and made a hot toddy and watched the Sopranos.

Saturday morning I got up and took a walk – yay, finally did something. It was a little slipperier than I would’ve liked, but not too terrible. Took Rach to the airport and came home and got my tax stuff together – another achievement. I made pizza with arugula salad on top, and we thought we’d go see Captain Phillips at the Marquee Room at Union South – we can walk there, and it was an 8:30 movie, and we didn’t think Toni’s bus would be in till 11:00. But she caught an earlier bus, that got her back to Madison by 10:00 – so we didn’t do that either.

I didn’t make a King Cake on Monday night – we didn’t celebrate Mardi Gras. I thought I’d make something yeasted and filled on Sunday morning, but I didn’t. Oh, and all week I was planning to make this creamy potato-poblano gratin, and had bought the cream, and had the poblanos leftover from Monday. But I didn’t. Instead, we had potatoes with what Rick Bayliss calls “essential rajas”, strips of fried onion with strips of roasted poblano.

And in keeping with the theme – over the weekend, I didn’t take any pictures of our meals, although I did post about Linzer tart.

On Monday I carried on the didn’t theme by skipping my monthly academic staff assembly meeting – to go meet with the organizer of the phone called I’d missed on Wednesday. Then I went home and made the “essential rajas” into enchiladas.

King Cake from 2007

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