A Golden Age

Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Cultural Center 78 E. Washington, Chicago IL

 

Age appears to be best in four things; old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  -Francis Bacon

Walking around my beloved Chicago, I do find my eyes more often passing over the new to admire the old, particularly the architecture that came out of the era just after the great fire in 1871. The Chicago Cultural Center was opened in 1897. Originally the city’s central library, it was converted in the late 70’s to an arts and culture center. I love this building. I walk around it every time like it is the first time. And the real beauty for me of this corner of Michigan and Washington is the old buildings flanked by the new. But for now, let’s look back.

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Flipping the Tables

I had the opportunity to write for a website I really enjoy called Cinema Shame. If you are a cinephile as I am, I think you’ll love the podcasts there especially, delightful romps through films that are very popular but which the writer’s had not seen before.
Here is mine, after watching Raging Bull for the first time.

Cinema Shame

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The movies I watch most frequently, roughly 80%, are subtle, full of dark images, deep thoughts, and painted with smoke, mirrors, and chiaroscuro. The movies I tend to walk around, to avoid, even when given four-star reviews, are bloody, action flicks, brutal and gruesome, cruel and angry. My best friend might argue with you, that is exactly what I watch, a mixture of the usual top-ten noir films we’ve all seen with Bogart and Mitchum and their splendid ilk. But I also watch a lot of 1940’s crime films with twisted femme fatales, and a mixture of characters with seemingly no conscience and no regrets. I suppose there is a discrepancy there but we all have our limits and I never did well with brutal, unless it was painted up pretty and put in stockings and a ball gown.

Enter Raging Bull, the top daddy on many critics’ lists, including…

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Life on S. Michigan Ave.

Michigan Avenue.jpg

memories lash out
walking down the avenue
everyone buzzing

There is so much life here, no matter how you define it. Continuing our walk around Chicago, we arrived at Adams and Michigan, looking out at the life whizzing past and right in front of us as well, from the steps of the Art Institute. I got (hubby got) a shot of one of the doors, but it is shadowed by one of the two lions watching over the joint.

Lion art inst door.jpg

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Monday Random: Quotes

  • In the end, only kindness matters. — Jewel
  • I’m so ugly, that’s okay cause so are you — Kurt Cobain
  • A mistake made by many people with great convictions is that they will let nothing stand in the way of their views, not even kindness. — Bryant McGill
  • Poetry destroyed? Genius banished? No! Mediocrity, no: do not let envy prompt you to the thought. No; they not only live, but reign, and redeem: and without their divine influence spread everywhere, you would be in hell–the hell of your own meanness. – Charlotte Brontë
  • All you  need is love. — Lennon/McCartney

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Answer: never

Jeopardy question: When is it ‘too little, too late’?

In 1989 I met a family that a year later I would become a part of. I had come from a place and family from the mid-west U.S. and was about to enter a very American-European family on the east coast. I was insecure about fitting into a family. Put me in a room with 30-100 strangers and I was the life of the party. Put me in a living room with 15 folks that were about to welcome me as sister, daughter, etc, and I had utter stage fright.

I came from a family where I had not hugged anyone in years, except a side arm hug at the airport and a bear hug from my mother who had longed for that for years herself. I entered a house where every face was kissing me and every arm was hugging me. But I still felt outside. Why?

I didn’t know how to express affection that way. I wanted it, but I was afraid of it. I questioned their motives, I assumed they didn’t accept me. Didn’t like me.

Didn’t get me.

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My list is my own list

 

 

My body is revolting. It is telling me things about the life I have lived and the myriad of ways I have abused it. I am 54. I could easily live 30 more years or more based on my health as I saw it 30 years ago. But now, I get warning signs. I lose friends. Friends younger than I are dying suddenly. I am surrounded by cancer.

Why have I written all these very not-cheerful words? Because we all have a time when we face ourselves. For some it is at 40. For others, 70. For me it was 50, but I ignored it until this past year. I became overly sentimental and mawkish about the smallest details. Everything meant something. A cough, a twinge, a sudden chill.

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Monday Random – grumpy edition

 

  • When you write 28 tweets on the same topic in less than an hour, it seems like you are on the wrong medium
  • Twitter doesn’t work well for rants. Unless you are a haiku master.
  • Rantku, is that a thing?
  • Don’t steal it now, I might use that!
  • If a doughnut or bear claw is acceptable in the morning, then I can dip a chocolate chip cookie in my coffee
  • Don’t judge me
  • You say you want to be friends, but you balk at any real conversation beyond lol and milf
  • That was a subtweet subnote
  • I know, I know, not a real word
  • A little gratefulness is important every day. Thank you for this coffee. It is so good and black

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Monday Random: potpourri

  • I’m using this Monday as a do-over from last week. Last week sucked balls. And you know I never use that language. But seriously. Sucked. Donkey. Ba…..well you know
  • In all fairness much of the crappiness of last week was my own fault so I’m done complaining. But that felt good and circumvented hours of whining to the husband which would start off another bad week and we don’t want that, do we
  • Question: what do you do to calm and soothe yourself? You’ve got your yoga and eating the ice cream from the container with a spoon approaches. But do you do anything quirky for your decompression time?
  • For me it’s very bad Lifetime movies or if it’s really horrible, Hallmark Christmas films. Even when it’s not Christmas
  • The first Christmas without the kids I watched Christmas with the Kranks fifteen times. True story
  • Nah, didn’t really help until I ate the ice cream as well
  • Complaining really isn’t healthy and passes bad juju around. Sorry about that. I think I won’t delete it though. Transparency is very trendy and I don’t want to come off as perfect because that would be worse
  • I’m learning to make pepper steak tonight. Hubby says it won’t work because I bought the wrong beef, but he’ll eat those words. It will be delicious and that will show him
  • When I used to cook it for a family I worked for as a domestic, I always put slices of tomatoes in it at the end. But none of the the recipes I’ve found use tomatoes. Do you put toms in yours?
  • Enjoy this new wave 80’s song to start off the week sad and sweet, and hey, don’t eat all the ice cream, have some kale as well

Have a great Monday!

You know what, how about one more hit from the 80’s. It’s like a big hug

-P.S.

Monday Random

This is an old fashioned Monday Random in its purest form – a stream of consciousness – thoughts with no theme. Yesterday required a lot of talking. Today – everything I want to say is lined up in my mind like bullet points. So let’s get to it.

  • There is something to be said for pizza suppers with only two plates and two glasses to wash after I’ve left them overnight
  • Not paper plates because I don’t like to use many disposables
  • We are going on a trip this summer we cannot afford
  • To save money we are eating eggs at 2/3 meals and found this is a very easy way to cut down on grocery costs
  • Salsa is a great ingredient for putting tomatoes and onions in the eggs when I am out of produce
  • Plus you can’t get a good tomato in May
  • My mother’s day became very special with an unexpected phone call and I am utterly grateful
  • For someone writing with brevity I am using a shit-ton of adverbs
  • I’m really grateful and happy for yesterday
  • I promised I would spend nothing on myself last week then bought a book of poetry
  • It’s a disease
  • I learned something this week about negotiating conflict
  • Explaining well is no guarantee someone will agree with me
  • I can live with them not agreeing with me
  • Talking things out is less important for convincing someone of my side and more important for learning to listen and seeing what they have to say
  • It seems you can sell some very bad poetry when you include a photo of a bare ass

Have a great Monday, and I will try and do the same !