Which duo?

Twin Peaks TV

I’ve been catching up on culture. Never saw original Twin Peaks, so I’m getting ready to see the follow-up, released this year—27 years after the first two seasons.

How did this get so pink? I thought I de-pinked it.

Fun and festivities

Garlic scapes

I made a big rice salad for our contribution to the potluck Fourth celebration across the way. I used these garlic scapes among the many veggies I added.

Brats on grill

Our hosts always supply brats and weiners grilled to full tastiness. And home-baked beans. Guests bring the rest. Extra yummy this year, I thought.

Great company, too. Always great fun to catch up with people we see just once a year.

No sparklers even, and we saw the fireworks on Sunday night…but I still thought about this being the anniversary of the founding of our nation while I chopped veggies…I find these strange times, and tried to be buoyed by the tendency of institutions to perpetuate themselves in much the same form.

Moon over lake

On the way back to our place the moon seemed to reign over the orchard and the lake.

Fire and fireworks

Peony mass

Peonies! We made it back to the Eastern Time Zone, and around to the cottage, and discovered the peonies are out! Beginning to get scraggly, but. Yay!

Fire n fireworks

The last event of the evening, were the fireworks across the lake that began at dusk. By the end, it was pretty dark, and the reflections on the lake were superb. There wasn’t much breeze and the smoke from the beach-fire went almost straight up. And the skeeters—yikes! Plenty of rain this spring, including the last few days, we hear, and bug-breeding has been rampant.

A tale of two buildings

Ceiling walls

Down in the museum zone, we did the big one, aka the Field Museum, first. Love the building.

Flowers not chives I think

At some point, we adjourned toward another museum, walking by these gorgeous not-quite-chives(?), which flanked an artificial waterfall feature with a big fake hoppy-amphibian at the top, perched on a sign that read amphibian. [Very Froooogy.]

Lobby prism

In Museum number two, we found these just inside the door, which we were told is nicknamed rainbow lobby, confusing morning visitors who do not have the benefit/cue of the product of the afternoon sun.

Another big lake

All this is by a big lake, but not the Big Lake. Birds and sailboats and yachts all came by us as we sat in the shade recharging from hours on our feet in galleries. Also, we learned by watching that this is where bridal couples come for photos with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop. A bit windy, but perfect light.

One bride we walked by had a gorgeous bride-dress and veil, and we saw peeking below the hem new, bright-white Converse footwear.

Octopus eats its leg

Octopus arm front windows

This morning we checked out the Museum of Contemporary Art’s show “Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg.” The title comes from a Japanese saying to the effect that an octopus in a mortal jam will eat off its own leg to survive aware that it will soon regrow, with the implication that sacrifice is necessary to create new growth. Kinda gory way to frame that notion…. Murakami was born in 1962.

Takashi Murakami 1999 Super Nova

The exhibit shows his pieces in chronological order, and allowed us to see how his art has changed. His sense of color aesthetics is stupendous, and was there at the beginning. This is a 1999 piece he named “Super Nova.” It portrays the world after an atomic bomb…mushrooms are a frequent theme in traditional Japanese art, and of course the bombs make mushroom clouds….

Panel detail

Here’s a detail from a recent multi-panel work, showing more of the influence of anime. Just for this show, we were told, he designed an octopus, used for the promotional materials…you’ll have to find it “out there” if you are interested. Big eyed. Pink.

Lamborghini headlamp

Wandering the streets toward the next stop, we window-shopped Lamborghinis (one headlamp only shown) and Bentleys (even saw a muddy one!—I didn’t know mud stuck to Bentleys!).

Between lion

We also wandered by this lion, with a moldy green pelt.

Russert Meet set

In the broadcasting museum, we unexpectedly found Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press” set.

Subway detail

And…we took the subway back to our (temporary) apartment. Beautiful tile work on the walls…public art that mostly goes uncelebrated.

River view

Abe n mr sweater

I jokingly said this street art was Abe and Mr. Sweater. Turns out it is something like Abe and the Common Man. Common Man being white guy in cable-knit sweater. Nothing against white guys or sweaters. But.

London House temple

We took a fantastic architectural boat tour, and this was across from our dock. The somewhat unexpected rooftop open-air circular temple can be rented for special occasions.

Chicago from mouth of Chicago River

Our boat went out to the lock that prevents the Chicago River from dumping into the lake—its natural flow—but did not leave the river. Such a great view west of the skyline.

Chicago founded right

The grass-edged landform to the right was where the Euro-Americans first settled here. They heard the Indians saying something that they distorted into “Chicago” thinking that was the name of the spot. Turns out the Indians were commenting on the marshy vegetation—stinking onions. Or so our wonderful guide said.

Design by context

Even more than the building in the previous shot, this one was designed with a plain façade meant to reflect what was around it.

Rivers map

This one, on the other hand, has a stylized map of the rivers. That red “bench” feature way up there indicates the location of this building, a “you are here” marker.

Heart Chicago

Spotted on our way back from deep-dish pizza engorgement….

Pottery fun

Stoneware potlid

This morning I managed to unintentionally start a wee mug-off. There was no winner, just some laughs.

The mugs have words, but this pot did not. It was a whole covered casserole, but this is just the lid and its handle. The potter only put glaze on one side, a lovely silver-grey. [My mug did not have a naughty word on it; no comment on the other mug’s text.]

This may not make sense. Apologies.

Church fireworks

Fireworks by me

I’ve been hearing about the great color and drawing and photo-editing possible on the new iPad. So, I gave it a try, creating an illustration (of sorts) for a sign we saw yesterday.

The sign read “Church Fireworks” in big letters. And below: “2 for 1 sale!” And if that wasn’t enough to entice you, the final punch line was: “No taxes.”

Lots of food for thought there….

Whatta day!

Cloud on road

Today was a storied day. Too many stories to tell them here, in fact. The morning started in the clouds, or, more precisely, the clouds descended to the ground…creating lovely, muted light. Okay, one story. Sometime after this shot we drove a winding road through a narrowed valley, decorated every so often by flanking, blooming banks of orange lilies. It was named Frog Level Road. When it’s tough, the frogs go low, and burrow deep in the mud. And this valley was low for the area, meriting the reference.

M on computer

Our next big adventure was to see M’s field school winding up their season. This is when the largest area is exposed and the “most” has been revealed by weeks of hard work in the merciless sun. It is the pinnacle of science!

Cord marked sherd

Science also can look like this. It’s a cord-marked sherd, meaning that when the clay was still plastic and partly dry, someone took some rough cord material and pressed it into the clay to make a surface decoration. This is an easy method to originate and potters all over the world have used it.

Anyway, the stories unfolded. A shower to clean the sweaty, grimy body. A big download of pictures. A party at a lovely home on a hill, a gift to the crew that we were allowed to join. Finally, we crashed, spent and happy and enjoying the wafting air-conditioned breeze in the hotel room. A few fireworks outside as I was falling asleep; or did I dream that in a fog of exhaustion.

My downtown adventure

Lobby art

I can’t say I was inspired by this lobby art; I can say that I was glad it is there. Or that art is there.

And the plants are a great touch.

Fire engine flag

I spent the morning getting processed through the jury duty bureaucracy. The line was the longest I’ve ever seen. In my experience, the check-in line is maybe 10 people waiting. I waited perhaps 40 mins—a significant change. And there didn’t seem to be more people in the assembly area. Weird. Or a signal that the process has changed.

I was picked in the second group, Juror Number 19. After all the questions from the judge and lawyers, and patient waiting by our subset of thirty, and fine displays of civic duty, I didn’t get chosen to be empaneled. Nor did the men on either side of me. The judge was confident that the case would be finished by day’s end, and if so, not so bad.

Downsides: the call-back rotation is down to one year (it used to be two); and, the county has upped our property taxes significantly in the last half-decade, although jurors still get a mere $25 per day. For the people who struggle just to pay the child care to come down for one day (and haven’t the money to pay for a second day), this seems a true hardship. I know county government budgets have been hammered for decades (over and over and over), but this seems like one place the $$ should be allotted. [Jurors are given the option of having their payment sent directly to the county library system, which is a nice touch, but doesn’t help those folks who really need the compensation.]

Oh, the firetruck. I left the courthouse to wait for my ride (thanks, babe), and saw a sheriff’s deputy standing by the loading dock entrance. Turns out he was waiting for this vehicle…and the one that arrived just after it, an ambulance from Grady, that pulled off the street, while the firetruck stayed curbside.

Loved the rear flag, but not sure if that’s okay treatment of the flag. After all, flag-behavior rules are lengthy.

And after all this, I went out to lunch with The Guru.