Monday, April 24, 2017


It's been years since I've been back to Central Market. I was so happy to have all my old foods there again--spanakopita, giant pickles, and whoopie pies. (Although I'm pretty sure I ate one of the last whoopie pies in the whole place, which really means that the vendors are sleeping on the job.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Seattle, The Market

The daffodils were incredible. I had no idea that that many different kinds existed.

A brief detour with tulips. Also beautiful.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Seattle, a great conference, and a camera. That combination makes me perfectly happy.

I know, I know--too many pictures. I can't help it.

Highlights: Reading Muriel Spark's Aiding and Abetting by the water. (Why have I not read all Sparks? They're perfect--this one is a psychological mystery with some religious mysticism thrown in.)

Also, a visit to the SAM, where I stumbled again upon my favorite--a thirteenth century painting of Christ being whipped. So overcome with devotion to Christ, one of the painting's early viewers gouged out the eyes of the men beating Christ.

Also, visiting the sculpture park. Which is sort of ugly, but a nice walk--my first time there.

Oh, and an incredible seafood dinner on the water at sunset.

Above: That's gum. Gross!

I told the kid before I left that I was sorry to leave him and that I'd miss him and he said (in less sophisticated language): "I know! I will come and daddy will come--we'll all go!" His face lit up as if he'd solved the problem. So sweet.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Flowers at the Art Museum

We walked, strollerless, through the lovely gardens at the art museum in Indy. It's just the beginning of the flowers, but what a great way to welcome the spring.

The kid loved the many fountains. He also loved when we gave him his own museum tag. He carried all the sticks he could find--his arms were full of them. Heaven forbid he just choose one.

Last time we went to the art museum, we tried to get him hot chocolate for a treat. But, much to his consternation, the machine was broken. This time he remembered that and excitedly demanded a hot chocolate. He insisted that the machine was not broken anymore, and he was right. Who am I to say no to a kid who likes chocolate? Even if his wishes aren't exactly seasonal.

There's also a cool old Lilly mansion you can tour, and loads of orchids in the greenhouse. Not saying that that flower above is an orchid, because I don't think it is, just that there were plenty. And I don't know, maybe it is.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Graham Greene's Children's Books

First of all, I wish I had the real books, illustrated by Greene's mistress, Dorothy Craigie. Ardizzone's pictures are just a little too vague. I like something crisper. (The originals are obviously more expensive than these reprints.)

Second, these aren't the best books for children in the world, at least for 2 and a half year olds. Chester can get a little distracted.

But they do have the advantage of being centered on transportation forms that are very attractive to kids.

And they do have the advantage of very clever humor for adults. There's the new evil grocery store--the Hygenic Emporium--and it's terrible owner, who is too ugly to draw. There are secret codes made of pictures that smugglers use. There is a big train with a Scottish accent.

Several are very nostalgic--new technologies and soulless interventions threaten the old and caring citizens. The Little Steamroller solves a mystery (not a very well-formed mystery). The Little Train learns to value the small town over the allure of Smokeoverall, the big city.

So again, not the best. But full of a lot of charm in the meantime.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


After a tornado warning today--during which I made my (small) class retreat from our largely windowed classroom to my more smally windowed office--and after hail (during which we fear for our car's life), this (double) rainbow at sunset was a welcome sight.

I think two things made it especially vibrant--it came out just as the sun was going down, so it almost glowed with the evening sun; and it's so darn flat here, that you could see both ends of the rainbow and everything in the middle. It was a huge circle in the sky; rainbows I've seen in the past have always been partially buried by the hills.

These are just quick phone pics. Please don't judge.

The guy and I were so happy to see it that we got the not-yet-sleeping, but in-bed kid and showed him his first rainbow. "Oh!" he said with a smile. "A rainbow! It's pink!"

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Random Assortment

~ On Living in a FLW house:

In Wright’s original plan, there were doors from those rooms to the backyard. Paul remembered, “I said, ‘Mr. Wright, we don’t want our children escaping in the middle of the night.’ ” Helen jumped in, saying, “He gave us quite a lecture on why we shouldn’t be so controlling of children.”

~ Can't ever get enough about Elizabeth Bishop.

~ This is awesome:

“Actually,” Istvan said in a cheerful tone, “it’s far more dangerous coming downhill, because we’re relying on 40-year-old brake pads here.”
Although I was not sure I wanted to live forever, I was sure that I didn’t want to go down in a blaze of chintzy irony, plunging into a ravine strapped into the passenger seat of a thing called the Immortality Bus. For all that Istvan railed against the tyranny of death over human lives, his attitude toward basic road safety was at times wildly cavalier. The fact that he was piloting a 38-foot coffin bus through New Mexico did not, for instance, stop him from looking at his phone every couple of minutes, responding to texts and emails, checking the social-media analytics on his latest piece for TechCrunch, etc.
... Reading on, I learned how I, or my soul, might survive the death of my body and all other worldly things by surrendering myself to the Lord. I remembered asking Horn, earlier that day, about how his religious upbringing might have informed his belief that he would live forever through science. He said there was no longer any need for gods.“Science is the new God,” he said. “Science is the new hope.”
...While Istvan fielded a call from his irate wife about an overflowing toilet he failed to repair before setting off across the country to promote immortality, I took the opportunity to quiz Horn about his lifestyle choices.He was a transhumanist ascetic, a young man who had largely withdrawn from the world so that he might never have to leave it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Chicago, The Art Institute

The trinity.
Important Mercedarians. 

I like this depiction of the Annunciation. Why settle for one lily when you could have a whole field?

The old stock exchange. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chicago, Hull House

Unfortunately, I don't know how to rotate this picture. A tile depiction of Hull House. Full of life.  

Did you know that Hull House used to have a whole block of community buildings? I didn't. The house itself and the dining hall are all that remain.

Decorations on the kids' cubbies at the kindergarten. I've never seen cubbies this great. 

There were pictures of the original wallpaper and it was great--some was made by William Morris's daughter.

Mail slots with push pin marks.

What a great office. 

Addams' bedroom. I love wallpaper. 

Art by a WPA artist. 

Dining hall. 

Hull House. 

Dining hall. 

Overall, what an inspiring place. And what a center of philosophy, art and culture--John Dewey and Frank Lloyd Wright were often there, among many others.