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21st-Jan-2018 10:54 pm - The House of Unexpected Sisters
tree silhouette
Last night I finished The House of Unexpected Sisters, the most recent No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith---and it's been only a year since I read the last few books in the series. As always, the book was pleasant to read. Mma Ramotswe's muttering about 97% made me laugh.
17th-Jan-2018 11:33 am - The Gifted, season 1
We finished the first season of The Gifted last night, with the double-episode season finale. It has its moments and some interesting storylines, though the dialogue is rather stilted, and we'd like to see Amy Acker doing more. But we're up to watching season 2.

The best creepiest thing was the Frost sisters, talking and moving in sync.
11th-Jan-2018 11:02 pm - The Durrells in Corfu, season 2
NYC park
I finished season 2 of The Durrells in Corfu tonight. (Joe's given up on it.) I'm still enjoying it, about as much as the first season, especially the beautiful scenery. The finale was kind of fun with all the births---boy, girl and otter.

One of these days I'll go back and read the seond and third books.
6th-Jan-2018 01:47 pm - The Crown, season 2
Last night we finished the second season of The Crown. As was the first season, it was very well done: writing, acting, costumes, sets, scenery, cinematography. The second season was more fraught than the first. It was fun seeing Matthew Goode as Tony Armstrong-Jones.

Couple highlights from the season finale, Mystery Man (# 10):
- Elizabeth describing her prime ministers: ‘A confederacy of quitters.’
- The riotous family photo session--before Phillip's 'Pipe down!'--at the end of the episode, the last with this cast.
4th-Jan-2018 10:09 pm - Hold These Truths
docks, seaside
A couple weeks ago we saw Hold These Truths, by Jeanne Sakata, at the Lyric. I learned a lot. The play is fighteningly relevant today.

Michael Hisamoto was amazing as Gordon Hirabayashi.
4th-Jan-2018 10:05 pm - The Punisher
I liked The Punisher, though I did spend a lot of it with my eyes closed. Jon Bernthal was great as Frank Castle, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach grew on me as David Lieberman. I enjoyed David and Frank’s relationship.
Favorite episode: Virtue of the Vicious (# 10): out of sequence flashbacks and flashforwards
4th-Jan-2018 10:33 am - SF and Chicago

Finally getting around to posting about last year’s vacation!

Friday, August 11

BART/Muni to Inn on Castro - white room this time

Me & Tasty - Thai fusion

Saturday, August 12

Almond waffles at Inn on Castro

Wine tour with Evan Rothrock:

Madonna Estate

Whetstone ordered case half Viognier

lunch at Acacia House

Salvestrin Winery - bonus San Genovese for Pia

Bremer Family Winery

Dinner at Saucy Asian, tea and macarons from Castro Coffee Company

Sunday, August 13

Mushroom scramble at Inn on Castro

Alan Rosen and Linda from Tuscaloosa

Degas exhibit at Legion of Honor

Lunch at Frjtz

Iced tea at Ritual Coffee Company, Market Street

Drove up to Twin Peaks (SF)

Dinner at Zazie, Cole Street

Monday, August 14

Spinach scramble at Inn on Castro

Fly United to Chicago

Palmer House 22-150

Dinner at Grillroom

Tuesday, August 15

Anaheim scramble at Corner Bakery Cafe

Architectural boat tour, docent Hua Chai,economist

Trump tower and Wrigley building

Jollers building

77 west whacker, 114

333 west whacker

Vista point?

Erie on the park upside down v’s

Former Montgomery ward building

River townhouses

Riverside place narrow base between river and train

Gateway center

Sears tower, 311 south whacker drive and river city

River city


Gateway center buildings

Map on building

Mask on opera building

Riverside place narrow base

1930 building with gold

London house

Chicago Tribune tower

NBC tower art deco style

Navy Pier and lock

Lake Shore Drive


Lunch at City Winery

Walk to millennium park

Open rehearsal of Grant Park Orchestra

Free pints of Talenti gelato

Chilling in Palmer House lobby bar with seltzer and lemon ginger beer

Very nice dinner at Trattoria No. 10 on Dearborn

Chilling in Palmer House executive lounge with tea and Knobs Creek

Wednesday, August 16

Continental breakfast in Palmer House executive lounge

Art Institute of Chicago - over 5 hours! - impressionists then other exhibits, including miniature rooms and paperweights - many wings

Palmer House executive lounge: chicken tikka masala

‘L’ to Sedgwick, dinner at Corcoran’s

The Second City - Fantastic super great nation numero uno

Including improv 3rd act, radio play about Moose Jaw / Tin Town / Duck Bill

Actuary joke

Thursday, August 17

Continental breakfast in Palmer House executive lounge

# 6 bus to Museum of Science and Industry

At museum over 5 hours!

Numbers in Nature: mirror maze

Yesterday’s main street:

Buster Keaton in The Electric House

The great train story

Lunch at brain food court

Snicker doodle and zen tea at Museum Cafe

Robot revolution

Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle

# 10 bus back to Palmer House

Dinner at Rosebud Prime

Chilling in Palmer House executive lounge with tea

Friday, August 18

Continental breakfast in Palmer House executive lounge

Historic Skyscrapers walking tour, docent Bill Page







Lunch at Remington’s

Chilling in Palmer House lobby bar with Starbucks and water

Palmer House executive lounge: beef gyro

Frozen kefir at Freshii

Grant Park Music Festival: Brahms Schicksalslied, Beethoven's 9th

Chilling in Palmer House executive lounge with wine and ginger ale

Saturday, August 19

Uber to O'Hare

Breakfast at Chili's

Fly United home

4th-Jan-2018 10:21 am - Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
I liked The Last Jedi a lot, even more than The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Good story and effects, and wonderful cinematography (like that shot towares the end of Kylo Ren and Luke at opposite sides of the screen). We saw The Last Jedi in Dedham on our way to Mike and Polly's party---somewhat of a tradition as we did the same for Rogue One.

It was nice to see Yoda (Frank Oz) again. I liked that, according to IMDB, porgs were the result of puffins being native to Skellig Island where the Achto scenes were filmed. They were unable to move them as they are a protected species, so the director decided to create a new indigenous species and simply CGI over the puffins.
4th-Jan-2018 09:37 am - New Year's Needham, 2018
snowy tree
We didn't get to quite as many New Year's Needham events as last year, but still, four events is a very good deal for a $5 button.

Charles River Ballet - with Debby, Ellen and Alex - Besides the dancing, I was very impressed with the costumes and lighting. Favorites: Garland Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Tango Vivo and Tomorrow (to the overture from Annie)
Needham Community Theatre - Adam Sell, Maddie Welch, Michael Bailit, Sabine Budd, Ethan Butler, Kathy Magni, Jim Pugh, Elise Blanchard - Favorites: Anything Else But Love (Addams Family), History of Wrong Guys (Kinky Boots), Life of the Party (Wild Party), I Remember it Well (Gigi), Life Story / I’m not Complaining (Closer than Ever)
Longwood Opera - Favorites: Margaret Felice - The Telephone Aria (from Menotti's The Telephone); Gary Thies - Long Ago in Alcala (from Messager's Mirette)
Needham Concert Society - Favorites were the large ensemble pieces: Moderato from Dvorak's Serenade for Strings, Op 22; Allegro and Presto from Mozart's Divertimento for Strings, K136; Moderato from Haydn's Concerto in C major for cello (soloist Andrew Y Kim, 10 year's old!); and Allegro Moderato from Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
28th-Dec-2017 03:10 pm - Coco (2017)
Coco was our Christmas Day movie this year, and we saw it with Dan (who saw it for the second time). Very nice movie, with even a surprise twist towards the end.
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