Monthly Archives: January 2012

Yahtzee! with neighbors during the blizzard.  Creative player names required.


When my weekly missive from the desk of Gwyneth Paltrow softly fluttered into my inbox this morning on a cloud of lavender-scented bedlinen mist, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Does anyone remember when goop used to have fun Asian-inspired recipes and pictures of obscenely expensive clothing for the children I don’t have?”  You know–the good old days of 2009?

These days it’s all cleanses and advice on small business ownership.  Gwyneth: I come to you for glamorous, condescending, utterly useless advice that I could not otherwise access in the Self Help section of the Lincoln Park Branch Chicago Public Library (which STILL will not issue me a library card EVEN THOUGH I’M A MODEL CITIZEN.)

I can only hope that next week’s goop will contain sensible, insider wisdom on an every-woman topic, such as “How to Interview Multilingual Child Life Specialists” or “Backless Gowns: the New Hoodie.”

I should start by saying that this dinner had its work cut out for it.  It took–count them–twenty-three emails to coordinate five people who live in the same city and see each other on a regular basis getting together for dinner on a Friday night.  Most of us had record-breakingly terrible weeks at work.  One of us exists solely on a diet of unseasoned chicken and cookies.  And a few of us slogged through ten blocks of late-onset-Chicago-winter slush to discover the restaurant had a parking lot and someone could have driven.
But when a Filipino friend offers to curate the experience of dinner at Isla Pilipina Restaurant in Lincoln Square, you don’t ask questions–you hop on that Brown Line and take it right to Western, bottle of BYOB white clutched between your mittens.

Warning: the amount of deep-fried pork you are about to witness may shock you.

Keep reading…

2012: The Year I Resolve to Do Everything No More Than Three Days Late.  (Or at least try).

New Years Eve ice skating at Daley Bicentennial Plaza; The Bean with East Coast friends
Introducing out-of-towners to reflective-bean-photography; Chicago Cultural Center
Festive friends; unbelievable NYE dinner (and sidecar) at Aquitaine in Lincoln Park
New year/new tie; aftermath: Clark Street, Chicago, January 1, 10 AM

German incense smoker; a glass of Christmas Eve Glühwein
My grandfather, the original Christmas enthusiast; German wooden village
Swiss fondue, our longest-standing Christmas Eve tradition
Christmas morning Panettone; Christmas afternoon eggnog
Christmas tree; feather fascinator
Ice sculpture at Lincoln Park Zoo Lights; Mom’s “incroyable” Bûche de Noël
My sister’s Christmas train; Licoln Park Zoo Lights