In Cacao County Venezuela, the world's tallest falls, Angel Falls, are named after Jimmy Angel, a bush pilot from Missouri.
Get Lucky! 2, 6, 8, 11, 12, 22
Thursday: Sunday Monday happy days, Tuesday Wednesday happy days ... Thursday afternoon my colleague J calls (or is that calleague?), for she and her man C are housesitting and catsitting across town, and the visiting Swiss Chef (rather just Swiss Dude, but he likes to cook) was coming to town to do something on campus that evening and needed a place to stay. In exchange he offered to provide dinner, and despite my general business that evening I agreed.
I baked some brownies as well, anticipating the coming road trip.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup sweetened ground cocoa (e.g. Ghirardelli)
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Stir eggs, vanilla and sugar; add butter. Sift the dry ingredients, then stir into the egg mixture. Add nuts, spread into an 8" square greased pan, and bake 20-30 (20 is the minimum, for gooey, 30 or sometimes more, depending on your oven, for spongey, cakey goodness).
These are dense, sweet brownies, rich and decadent, the type that wow your friends and woo women.
Lu, the Swiss Chef—remember, however, that Chef and Jefe are related, and that outside the US we're talking about bosses, not cooks—, and I discussed music toward the end of the evening, for I suggested using Hard Rock Hallelujah (zombie cheerleader born-again goodness!) as a way to wake up (iCal, set an event, set an alarm, open said mp3 as the alarm), and that required testing the volume, which led to an entertaining discussion about trashy ol' Eurovision, and then, somehow, Hans Zimmer, and his ripping off of Wagner in the Gladiator soundtrack ("The Might of Rome" imitates moments of the funeral music from Götterdämmerung, and it is sublime).
I fully expect one of mns's SF-area bar stories to be entitled “Exit, pursued by a bear.”
Chicago: Around 8:30 in the morning we started gathering at Michelangelo's, a coffee shop near the top of State Street, and owned by the proprietors of the Fair Trade Coffeehouse—the same fresh fritter goodness—and shortly after 9:30 we hit the road in an Enterprise rental van, for Ly had yet to be recertified by the university to drive fleet cars.
The tolls across the Illinois border have increased since I was last there (Oct. 23, 2004), from $0.40 to between $0.80 and $1.60—no more simple nickel-dime-quarter combinations. The Belvidere Oasis has been remodeled, and instead of merely an instance of the friendly golden arches, it now resembles nothing less than a food courtyard mixed with an airport concourse. Brownies were consumed. We continued on our way.
Upon arriving in Chicago we took a few wrong turns (east on the Eisenhower rather than west, south on 55 rather than north to go west to Lakeshore [Highway 41], etc.). Once we got to the U of Chicago campus there was quite a bit of turning around and backtracking due to the obsessive number of one-way streets, but finally we found a parking spot across the street from L-A's residence (she, who would provide three of us a place to sleep that night). To campus and Wieboldt Hall we went, and we made it in time for the afternoon sessions.
E.S. presented in the afternoon, and I had met him in 2002 in Bloomington at a conference on the 18th century; his presentation this time on Moritz's Kinderlogik fascinated me, for it appears that despite (or perhaps due to) his curious metaphysical assumptions, Moritz rejected rationalism for a brand of empiricism, which he then translated into his pedagogy. For those interested in such things, it predates R. Steiner's cultish descendent, the Waldorf model and schools, a curious adaptation and perversion of Goethe's vitalism.
That evening we ended up at D.W.'s house for a nicely catered (by the Nile Restaurant, 1611 East 55th Street, I suspect) party and wine. A number of “big names” were there, and the networking opportunities were plentiful. That night at L-A's I got a comfy bed. Comfy, I say.
Saturday morning we were up in time for Turkish-style coffee, bagels, and muffins, before being treated to more breakfasty goodness at Wieboldt, followed by my advisor's talk on Moritz's aesthetics and ontology/cosmology. I cut out early that afternoon to meet up with J, who had visited me in Berlin, and we just settled for soup and sandwiches off Monroe after taking the 6 north from campus. At 4 I met Le, who had been in Madison the week before, at the Palmer House—no way I was giving up a free night at the Hilton. After walking around downtown for a bit we hopped on the Blue Line to Wicker Park to eat at the reasonably priced and tasty Papajin (1551 N. Milwaukee Ave.).
Half a day later we arose, checked out, and had lunch at Bennigan's, which, while a chain, has one of the tastier monte cristos in the area. Off to the Art Institute for a few favorites, and then I met up with my literature colleagues, said farewell (for another 4 years?) to Le, and departed for Madison.
The trip back was quicker, and when we arrived the sun had not yet completely disappeared.
NaNo: Several weeks ago during some weekend writing I threatened to turn my NaNo into a dissertator's tale, but a better approach evolved Friday at the Moritz conference while listening to talks about the Kinderlogik and Anton Reiser (“the first psychological novel”). I'm in a pastiche mood these days, as haters of my wfc4 entry can attest.
b secret garden + harry potter + lovecraft + dawkins + “Anton Reiser” (the source you wouldn't know)
a true dat
b i don't always feel the need to do the “source arithemetic,” but it does amuse me
a do they add, or cancel?
b in this case the + is a weird set theoretic joining that also excludes those things which are in direct contradiction
b thus, orthogonal things are joined, but as in a wave-theoretic, white noise and interference pattern way, others are nulled
b thus, i guess it's a quantum + of sorts
Back in Berlin—last week my students were exposed to Verliebt in Berlin, a German soap based on the same source as Ugly Betty—I attended a marvelous melancholy exhibit at the New National Gallery. Dürer's Melancholia I, one of my favorite works, was on display, but that was merely the beginning of the display. As an aside, it interests me that Dürer's [family's] name was a variant spelling of Thürer, or door-maker, from the Hungarian Ajtósi (from ajtó for door). The D-T(h) word-initial variance is worth noting (see also Deutsch/Teutsch), but should not be confused with final-devoicing (aka Auslautsverhärtung), such as d and g becoming t and k at the end of words (e.g. Hund, Tag ...).
The kernel of a NaNo or at least fiction idea was born at the museum that day, and associates and connects the humours, Saturn, melancholic werewolves and bats, and Williams Syndrome—it's too large a project for a NaNo, but I can get it started.
Wednesday: If I hadn't gone to Chicago I might have had Friday evening plans.
Hmm. What are you doing tomorrow night? Oddly I have a Friday off at Eno and was thinking we might go there ourselves and drink things. I get quite the discount, if you are not too crazy busy and so inclined.
Eternal optimist that I am, I wished to interpret said message from mostly-stranger L in a positive fashion, though the realist in me is cautious and lowers expectations.
As it was, I had to decline, given that I was going to a conference out of town, but I do hate crippling my already feeble social life any further. A rain check was offered/accepted, and last night reservations for Wednesday evening dinner and drinks were made, so I had to map and schedule my transportation to Eno Vino, which is on the (far) west side of town, but, luckily, accessible (at/by the last stop) on the 15 bus, although it takes about an hour to get there. Carlessness is not an attractive trait, I suppose.
It's a nice enough place that my meager wardrobe strains to achieve sufficiency. Likewise my wallet, but L gets a 50% food discount. terpia has it easier.
It is 11:30am—time to vote, shop, do laundry, and NaNo (verbed).
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