Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday--->Funday?! Sliding into the last days of Summer

Summer is slowly fading fast. So sayeth Henry Saiz. I came across that quote mid-winter in the northern hemisphere. The tables are turned, and I am becoming wistful- perhaps prematurely- for our own Summer. It is beginning to fade slowly, but quickly.

An injury had me sometime sidelined for most of the summer, so now I am beginning to gorge on all the Summer fun I can. Yesterday presented an ideal opportunity.

Norwood Park- by Chicago Park District
Check out the photo. Let me ask you, when was the last time you slid down a water slide? If you are like me, and I'm a fairly active adult, you can probably measure the time in decades. I'm just saying. And, if you are like me, you probably feel that is too long.

It is too long. And let me tell you, the slide was epic! So too was the picnic afterwards. So too was the company. What more could one want? Well, except maybe another month of Summer.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Farewell!? Making Lemonade in This New American Century

The party is over. Everyone is making off into the pre-dawn hours.

Los Angeles from the Getty Center
Last night I had dinner with a friend, KM,  who is returning to her native Los Angeles. She will be missed. Interestingly this is a 'first person' friendship that was just beginning to take form.  What you may ask do I mean by first person friendship? KM was originally a friend of a friend (FOF). Our link departed some months ago, and we took up where he left us. Usually when that vital link disappears, you discover you haven't much in common with the remaining friends. It just doesn't work some how- you just aren't that in to each other.

Not so with KM. We genuinely enjoy each other. So it was a treat to dine in the outdoors, sip a bit of wine and chat about the future. We are both at this juncture where events have conspired to open an expanse of future. That is a future for the making. If you asked me five years ago what the future held, I'd probably have a clearer answer than I do today. I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the taking.

And so we shall. There is no other option. One nice thing about contemporary times (and let's be honest there are many), is that no one ever really goes away. Being in contact is easier than ever. Plus dispersing friends across the globe opens options for weekend get-a-way's.

How is that for making lemonade in the new American century?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam- Pyrotechnics in Action

Do you play with fire for fun?

Some do, and if you fall into this category the Full Moon Fire Jam could be for you! Spontaneously last night, I was inspired to join as a spectator. The premise is artful, but simple. Here I'm quoting from the site:

We practice fire as an art form, with passion, anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

For any reason!? Does that sound militant? Maybe it could be re-written to place less emphasis on spontaneous pyrotechnics. Which is what the above implies. However these events are planned to coincide with the waxing full moon. The Fire Jam is approximate, as the performers can't obtain permits for pyrotechnic events on Fridays or Saturdays. It says so on the site, and I have to wonder why. It's not like the people who perform or are most likely to attend are the demo most likely to need to arise early on a Monday morning. If it is for safety purposes, should these events get out of hand, wouldn't that be just as likely to happen on a Sunday as on a Saturday?

Who performs in these you may be asking? Well, literally a devoted band of followers. The demo is sort of a melange of the Bristol Renaissance Faire meets Lord of the Dance meets Mad Max. This could be your scene if you can answer yes to any of the following:
  • Do you like to dress as a troll, a dragon, a Lord or a Lady? 
  • Do you like reenactments? 
  • Do you have a keen sense of the dystopian future? 
  • Do you go by a moniker like Turbo Rainbow? 
  • Are you a contemporary, macrame fashionista?

On last observation, and this is going to betray me as not a true Fire Jammer. To the fellow who takes and holds the ignition source, a fuel of some sort, in his mouth and spews it to create the fire that a little risky? What does that do to your periodontal well being? Really that is more of a rhetorical musing, but if any of you would like to comment, by all means.

The next Fire Jam is on September 12th at 7pm. Maybe see you there.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tree for Life

The other night, I was led to this tree.

Three pronged approach?
It is in a somewhat shady neighborhood. I'll let you parse the irony.

But here 'tis.

Interesting iterations in nature, eh? I'd love to hear from the cracker jack arborist or botanist how the trois trunk effect occurs? Is anyone from the Chicago Botanic Garden reading this blog?

While we await response,  I'll leave it to you to guess where this tree resides. One of you knows the exact location.

And on that note, thank you for sharing it with me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Communal Living: Pragmatism Not Psychedelics he joined Ravenna Kibbutz
Communal living probably isn't for me. I'm just being frank, and perhaps that lends credibility to this post. Really you're getting truly objective insight here.

On Friday @itsbarry and I joined a group here in the 'hood for Friday evening Shabbos. I formally met this group when I was coming home the previous Friday evening, and they extended an invite. They are organized around communal living principles meaning they share labors, food preparation and so forth. If you venture by their place, you'll note they are quite adept at container gardening.

An air of the kibbutz movement on a north side street. I'd been by this place maybe twice per day going on seven years now. The building itself was once abandoned at the beginning of the mortgage meltdown, fell into disrepair, was condemned, but taken over by some fellows who launched this community. Rubble begets a new day! The kibbutz movement is founded on that principle if I'm not mistaken.

I'm not a religious person by any measure, though I maintain an appreciation for and ongoing interest in culture. This experience delivered! After welcoming the Sabbath, we sat down to a lovely supper and got to know some of the participants. Many of whom, like us were visiting. An eclectic mix of a rabbi, a professional musician, students and some communal livers.

I'm not altogether clear how this is organized, and that isn't entirely accidental. I've learned to appreciate that sort of ambiguity. I really don't need to know all the insight, and pearls of wisdom are often revealed over time.

What does one take from this? Well, I'm not turning to religion nor am I poised to embrace communal living. Sorry to disappoint. But, as is generally the theme of this blog, it is all about the experience. Some of the best just happen to be right under your nose. If you take the time to see them. It may actually be extending you an invitation.