Monday, November 23, 2015

... martinis, museums, and a mediation on living...

The perfect Peppermint Chocolate Martini!

Considering that my last post was about my fella’s mom being in the hospital (and she still is although no longer in the ICU and slowly recovering), it seems a bit insensitive to write about my girls’ weekend even though it's been planned with a close colleague-friend for a quite a while now. My fella and his mom thought I was being silly for even considering canceling the trip because, after all, I can’t actually do anything since I’m not that kind of doctor :p That which I felt I should have done, I was encouraged not to do!

Off to Chicago we went for a little bit of work and some much needed rejuvenation. The rejuvenation included the I-Must-Find-A-Peppermint-Chocolate-Martini-If-I-Must-Snow. It actually started to make me get excited about the holidays. 

Of course, we’re academics so we planned to head to some museums to *get our culture on*. The weather (snow-rain? rain-snow? wet-snow?) wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t think I needed an umbrella for snow. At home, we brush it off. Shoot! When I lived in Boston we brushed it off. Chicago has some sort of freaking snow that is so wet that it soaks one’s clothing. We have to go buy new hats and gloves because they were dripping wet. We actually looked for coats too but in the end while we were shopping our coats somewhat dried. Chicago, hat tip to you; your weather is rough! (This is where my Northern USA and other snowy continent peeps will make fun of me but oy! Snow is for postcards!) It was worth it though. Chicago was decked out for the holidays. The store windows were amazing. I thought they only did this in New York City! It helped me finally let go of the Halloween season (although I did have pumpkin spice pancakes at brunch this morning).

My off-to-the-museum outfit
We made it to the Art Institute of Chicago and it was completely worth it. I’ve been to the museum two other times and I pretty much look at the same stuff because while I like the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) is one of my favorite movies. My fella favors Hurd Hatfield and there isn’t a thing wrong with that *swoon*. And hello, young Angela Lansbury!  The first time I saw Ivan Albright’s painting that was done for the portrait, I was amazed. There I was so close to an artifact that was in a film that I loved. If I think about it, it becomes a bit too meta so let me move on.

I actually hadn’t seen Ivan Albright’s before so as soon as I saw his piece That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door), described as “a powerful mediation on a life unlived”, I couldn’t stop looking at it. I may have taken a blurry picture back then but I did buy a postcard which I’ve framed and it still hangs in my house. Albright spent a decade painting this piece and it is so intricate, the details so meticulous. I wish it could hang in my house so I could look at it every day. There is something so beautiful about it. While I’m drawn to the wreath, I’m intrigued by the hand. I could go on and on but I’m not an Art Historian so I won’t bore you with my unskilled explanations. I will note that Albright was a somewhat amateur poet and often used long titles to describe his work. The title of That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door) only adds more to the piece in my opinion.
There are some pieces that really struck me but I’ll share them in future posts.There was even a Christmas surprise for us which I will share later as well.

It was a terribly fun weekend but I’m glad to be home. Hoping my mother-in-law will be able to come home tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving although it may be a bit up in the air in light of everything that’s been going on around here.    


  1. Glad you had a good trip and I'm really sorry to hear about your Fella's Mom and I'm glad recovering.
    I do have to point out that your cardigan is AMAZING!!!!!! =D

    1. Thanks! Hopefully she's coming home today but we don't want to rush andything and she has good health insurance so there aren't any worries there.

      My sweater was one of the best finds in Macy's from last year. It reminded me of an ankh tshirt I had when I was 16. I love it!

  2. That's very cool - I wouldn't mind that one on my wall either. I can't seem to find a poster of it at the moment, but I'm gonna keep hunting! I'm always grateful for very long titles that explain exactly what the picture is all about ... I suck at interpretation. ;)

    Hope your mother-in-law gets out of hospital soon. <3

    1. Maybe a museum shop? Hmm. It would be great as a poster on a door ;P

      Well, without the title of this piece I'm not sure many would be able to interpret it in the way that Albright intended :) But I like the title too

      Thank you!

  3. Replies
    1. My friend's stepson (who is 23) fussed at us because he said we looked like tourist. Our response, "we are!"

  4. I'm really happy to hear that you had such a good trip ... and even MORE happy about your MIL's improvement.

  5. That martini looks good!

    Ugh, wet snow! I

    Oh my boyfriend and I saw that version of Dorian Gray a long time ago, we loved that portrait!

    I tried to sing Goodbye Little Yellow Bird to my bird once but she was not impressed, not sure if it was because of the scratchy youtube recording, or she was offended at the sentiments against cage living. She loves her cage and bites you to protect it!

    Wow, those windows are CRAZY!!! Like whole little worlds!

    Love the Eye of Horus jumper!