July 31, 2009

Theatre Review - Blackbird at Victory Gardens *****

What more emotional subject is there than a sexual relationship between a 40-year old man and a twelve year old girl? Just reading those words probably made you cringe. But that's the subject of David Harrower's "Blackbird," on stage now at the Victory Gardens Theatre.
A powerful two-person play with William Peterson and Mattie Hawkinson, Blackbird is set fifteen years after the "affair." Una (Hawkinson) has sought out Ray/Peter (Peterson) to confront him with their past. The play explores the evolution of that original relationship and each character's motivation. Long, singular speeches that made me impatient add to the tension but also give you each person's perspective, which is an amazing feat. The raw emotion on stage is riveting and both performances are spectacular. This is a difficult story to tell but nothing is left out, and I'm sure the actors are drained after each performance. I know I was.

July 27, 2009

Weekend on the North Fork

It was like Camelot on the North Fork of Long Island this weekend; rain at night, beautiful during the day. I arrived Friday noon to spend the weekend with my friends Sam and Karen. They'd had torrential rains the night before but by the time I arrived it was lovely and sunny. Then it rained again Friday night and cleared up early on Saturday, rained Saturday night then cleared up during the day on Sunday. See? Camelot.
It was a lovely weekend with my dear friends, a trip that's been a tradition now for 6 or 7 years. They have a gorgeous home in a wooded setting with fabulous, elaborate gardens and a lovely deck and pool. It's always a relaxing time, lots of laughs, a chance to catch up on our lives, and it's always, always, always a gastronomic delight. They're both fabulous cooks.
On Friday we broke open the Prosecco as soon as we got back to the house, and ate lunch at their pool, a delicious eggplant spread on pita and a salad with prosciutto, watermelon and mint.
Seems like we just finished lunch when we were shaking martinis for cocktail hour and eating crostini either with tomato, mozzarella and basil roasted red peppers. Dinner was grilled lamb, salad of arugula and snap peas with herbs, and for dessert...........oops, can't remember what we had for dessert but I know it was delicious.
Saturday we took a drive to Shelter Island (took the ferry), then to Sag Harbor where we wandered around then got some yummy panini and ate them at the harbor. Then we drove on to South Hampton (LOVE South Hampton!) where we got gelati at Sant Ambreous, Sam and Karen's favorite gelati place. Yum!
By the time we got back to the house it was...surprise...cocktail hour. Dinner was FABULOUS! Whole lobster with roasted small potatoes and salad, wine (of course) and berries and cream for dessert. OH MY GOD. Do you think we ate enough?
For an after dinner drink (we NEEDED that) Sam served Fernet Branca, a vile-tasting digestif and another nearly-as-vile-tasting concoction. By that time I could barely move.
On Sunday, just in case we hadn't had enough to eat, Sam made a delicious fritatta stuffed full of goodies; potatoes, corn, peppers, cheese...with turkey bacon, and then I helped them to set up a blog. Check it out, it's a work in process but it'll be lots of info about living on the North Fork of Long Island (they call it Raggedwood), including recipes, gardening advice and fishing experiences. What a way to live.
Alas, then it was time to go home. Can't wait til next year.

July 20, 2009

A Monday Morning Run

It's a beautiful morning in Chicago, clear, sunny, cool; perfect running weather. So I headed out at 6:30 a.m. and ran down Michigan Ave. heading over to the lakefront path. A homeless man (one of the many on the streets at that time in the morning) was walking toward me and as he passed me he said, "See your nipples, girl."
Well, it was a little chilly.

July 15, 2009

A Sweet Wedding Video - First-Time Bride

My dear friends Barbara and Ron were married on July 9, 2009, 16 years to the day of when they met. This is Barbara's first marriage and this wedding was a long time coming so it's particularly sweet. I love the end, when he pronounces them husband and wife. You'll see it, but Barb, with tears in her eyes, throws her head back and laughs.
It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

July 13, 2009

Book Review - Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh *****

My friends Lauren and Claire gave me this wonderful cookbook for my birthday and I love it. Last night I made Potato, Leek and Fennel Soup and it was delicious and, as advertised, fast and easy.
Other things I've made: Chicken Breasts with Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto (heavenly - that pesto is to die for) and Creamy Bean Soup with Fresh Herbs abd Spinach. Get this book. It's huge (over 700 pages) but full of fabulous, easy food.

July 6, 2009

Battle of the Corporate Bands 2009 in L.A.

NBC band High Definition at the Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands 2009 in L.A. My cousin Len Greenberg is the fabulous guitarist to the lead singer's right.
At the end of this video he does a killer guitar on Bohemian Rhapsody which happens to be my favorite rock song of all time.
They competed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October. Read about it here.

July 4, 2009

Faith in Humanity

The other day I took the bus to see a client (my new blogging business Blogging Made Simple) and when I left his house I realized I was missing a bag of clothing that I was going to return to the Gap. Turns out I'd left it on the bus that morning.
Well, I was sure that was the last I'd seen of it, someone surely would have taken it - there were a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts in there, both with the tags still on, and the receipt was in the bag. But, just for kicks, I called the CTA later that afternoon to see if by some small miracle someone had turned it in and imagine my surprise when they said yes, it was there. I went to pick it up later that day and everything was there, receipt and all. Amazing. Doesn't that restore your faith in humanity?