Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Relationships with Reading

Here we are again, we've heard this complaint before. Where can I meet well read individuals with whom I will be able to form lasting, worthwhile relationships? We have already begun a book club, which is sailing along nicely, however, it is virtual and still leaves me without friends here to share with.

As I travel on the train day to day, I find myself scanning the many titles adorning the covers of the literature my fellow travelers have chosen. I begin to think to myself, how can I approach those who share my taste in reading material. I can't very well interrupt them, and beg them to be my friend, and I feel shy about mentioning that I have also read and enjoyed, Fight Club, or To Kill a Mockingbird. Besides, as it happens, I'm probably focused on my own copy of Haunted, White Oleander or, The Billionaire's Vinegar as the case may be. Perhaps we should branch out, and rather than disturbing the woman reading The New Yorker, I could simply pass her a note that says, " I see you are reading an interesting piece of literature. I too enjoy this simple pleasure, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself". But, that is probably too creepy, so I will just stick to the book club.

The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace

An excellent choice for our first book. Honestly, I typically do not enjoy historically factual stories, though this one captured my interest. The thing that struck me about this book is the fact that I caught myself trying to discuss it with my co-workers (who refuse to join the book club) simply because of the fact that the wine in question is old. I have an appreciation for things that are old, such as the old chest D. owns, or the old quilt passed down through my family. As I mentioned before, however, I do not usually like stories with historical significance unless it directly relates to me somehow, or I feel a connection. Having never been a wine collector, I didn't expect the story to reach me as it did. I found myself posing the question to everyone, "What would you do with a very old bottle of wine? Would you try to drink it, or just hold onto it for history's sake?"

As for the story itself, I have to admit that it lost me in a few places. I felt like the story was jumbled with too many facts and would have preferred to just following the one bottle of wine through time, versus the many different bottles and the countless side-stories of mishap, collecting, and forgery. While I agree that those were some interesting stories, I got mixed up in the sheer number of details.

But enough of what I think, that should be enough to start a conversation,(besides we have a professional book reviewer among us) I want to hear everyone's comments.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

100th Race to Mackinac

A. and I had made plans to attend the 100th running of 'Chicago Yacht Club's 'Race to Mackinac' , a sailing event where over 400 boats thirty feet and larger will sail 333 miles, and spend between an average of 40 to 60 hours from Navy Pier crossing Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island in Michigan. The Race to Mackinac is the longest freshwater sailing race in the world. Our day started out a wet one as soon as we woke up. Without rain gear, or an effective umbrella, we walked two and a half blocks down to the red line at which point we were already soaked, only to board the train and be informed that the train would not be stopping at our destination underground, but following an elevated route instead. This change of events left us guessing the easiest way to get to the pier. We walked around downtown Chicago with no real idea where we were headed, angry, irritated, and drenched before finally giving up and hailing a cab. Upon arrival at the race, the rain had subsided (of course, why wouldn't it) and we made our way to the Beer Garden where Alpha Graphics treated A. and I to a wonderful buffet lunch. Alpha Graphics held the lunch in support of their boat 'The Indecision' who was manned by former/current? U.S. Sailing members. We also were cheering on a boat in support of one of A.'s coworkers acquaintances called 'Nightmare', a larger boat in the GL70 section (I have no idea what that means). Boats can be followed in progress by on board trackers to see where on the lake they've made it to thus far. All in all, after the rain, a good day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Yorker

I don't usually have much to say about politics, but, when presented with the upcoming New Yorker cover, I had to speak up.

As you know, I am all for freedom of speech, and satire, especially involving political icons, is something I fully support. But, when it comes to an already controversial political race, isn't there a line that just shouldn't be crossed?

I realize what The New Yorker is trying to to, it's just satire, and I am sure McCain will get an equally harsh cover. But, to put a presidential candidate in the oval office, dressed as a Muslim knowing that the percentage of Americans still upset with the whole 911 thing, and associating that with the entire Muslim culture.. whether correct or not, is staggering ( not that the New Yorker is necessarily gracing this same demographic's coffee tables, but still, now with all the buzz.. you get my point), and a picture of Bin Laden behind him, with a burning American flag, and his wife holding an AK47.... doesn't this seem tasteless. You tell me.

There has been a lot of buzz about this particular cover, but it's not the only one that has ever shaken the American public. For more controversial magazine covers go to:

And tell me your thoughts!


Thursday, July 10, 2008


I remember being a little girl, and watching my hometown fireworks on the 4th of July through the sunroof of our old silver Nissan. I remember this one particular year because a. we were sitting inside the car and b. it was the first year I remember seeing the large, golden fireworks that seem to linger in the air. Ever since then, those have been my favorite.

Last year, D. and I attended The Taste of Chicago 2007, briefly. Just long enough to learn that WAY too many people attend, but it's worth it for the Chicago Macy's Spectacular Firework's Show. Last year was the best fireworks show we had ever seen. And, also, the most people we had ever witnessed in one area. We thought this would be our last visit to The Taste.

But, when July approached, we couldn't resist the urge to buy tickets, eat all types of foods, visit Buckingham fountain, and of course, watch the fireworks. This year, my parents joined us and we had a GREAT time. Still one of the best fireworks shows I have ever seen.

The Taste of Chicago 2008 was one of the best summer weekends we have spent. ( In my opinion)

We stopped by the bean.
We stood by the Fountain.
We "mingled", and ate some food.
We settled in to watch the fireworks.

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