Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thirty Seven Years

Suzanne and I were married December 29, 1973. Gas prices had skyrocketed to nearly a dollar a gallon, but you couldn't buy gas on weekends so we took a Greyhound bus for our honeymoon trip to Montreal. The bus was packed and we didn't get to sit together. I sat in the last row of the bus with a couple of convicts who had weekend passes and were hoping that the bus would be oversold so they wouldn't have to return.

Later, as we got closer to Montreal and people got off the bus, I was able to move up to Suzanne's row. I sat behind a Hasidic Jew who was reading the January 1974 issue of Playboy. When he got off he left the magazine so I took it. It was the 20th anniversary issue of Playboy - a keepsake issue. I still have it.

Hugh Hefner was 47 in 1973.

Last year I dedicated this blog post to Suzanne as a special anniversary gift.

This year we're going out to dinner. 








Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Old Fashioned Christmas Spirit

My short story, The Old Fashioned Christmas Spirit  has been published on the ezine, Apollo's Lyre.This issue features poetry, reviews and flash fiction by Debbi Antebi, Linda Courtland, James Dalrymple, Farida Samerkhanova, Edith Y. S. Harris, Len Kuntz and Brad Nelson. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nicole is 23

Nicole is in what we think is the last year of her undergraduate Art program at the School of the Art Institute. It has taken her slightly longer than anticipated because she switched her focus from Fashion to Fashion Accessories.

When Nicole started her second year of school I bought a condo near the school and leased it to her and three other Art students. This would have been a shrewd financial move if I had done it ten years earlier and leased it to accountants instead of art students.

The good news is that this fall, since all of the surviving roommates had moved out, we leased out the condo to four guys who do not appear to be art students and Nicole has moved back home, temporarily. And she brought her cat, Soche who has been warily accepted by Sammy.

It’s been great having her home. She does all the cooking – makes great meals and does all the dishes, too. Well she doesn’t do all the meals, more like one a week, but she’s a great cook. Although I guess since she doesn’t actually ever do any dishes, she’s probably a chef, not a cook.

Her specialty accessory is Hats. In April she won “Best of Show” in her Advance Headwear Concepts Class at SAIC and she has had some of her hats displayed at the Drake Hotel. Lately she and a couple of her colleagues have been making the rounds of local holiday shows. It’s a learning experience. I think one of the lessons has been that Midway and O’Hare aren’t the best venue for fashion.

Happy Birthday, Nicole! It’s been great to have you back home.


Nicole Modeling Zipline Headgear in Kauai

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christie is 21

Last fall Christie decided not to return to Pratt for her second year of school. Instead she found a job at CVS and lived at home with us and worked on her portfolio. She liked Pratt and did well there, but it didn't quite suit her artistic aspirations (which I won't attempt to describe.)  She applied to several Art schools in New York, Chicago, L.A. and London. Her first choice was Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in London and when they offered her a spot, she readily accepted. 

She worked long hours on her portfolio and I was proud that she earned admissions to a great art school. But I was also proud when I got a call from her CVS boss last month wondering if Christie was coming home for the holidays. They missed her at the store - she was a good worker and she had been hard to replace. That was her first real job so it was great to hear she had done well.

Suzanne and I accompanied Christie and her three tons of luggage to London to help her get settled. She did a great job on her portfolio, but not quite so good on the minor stuff like making sure she had housing. It all worked out in the end, but it was a stressful week for uh, Suzanne and Christie. We don't have any pictures from the trip because there was never a time when all three of us were in a take-my-picture mood.

Happy Birthday, Christie!  Come home soon.

In the photo at the top of the page, Christie is modeling a hat designed by her sister, Nicole. The girls have always had very different approach to clothes.  In the photo to the left, Nicole in her classic silk nightgown while Christie has gone with a more eclectic outfit.  The picture to the right was taken in Kauai earlier this year. A few minutes later the girls managed to flip over their off road vehicle during the driving tutorial. The instructors decided they should ride with someone else, which was probably a good decision.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stephen is 26

Our three kids were all born in the second week of December. I guess theoretically they are not kids anymore. Especially Stephen who is now 26.

Last year I came up with the idea that a great birthday gift would be to devote an entire blog post to each of the kids on their special day. Of course last year my blog was only read by seven or eight people (including close family members) but now the blog gets fed to my Facebook page so the readership is often in double figures, which makes this gift twice as good.

Stephen is now in the second year of graduate school at NYU where he is a PhD candidate in Chemistry. He teaches undergraduate chemistry and last year he won a teaching award. He’s now living in Queens with his girlfriend Anne. He hasn’t been home much in the last year so I don’t have any new embarrassing stories to report.

Stephen's sisters are both in Art Schools studying high fashion. Stephen has also always been very fashion-minded. Here he is in one of his favorite plaid ensembles.

He has always had remarkable powers of concentration (see picture above), but he's not just another science nerd. He's a science nerd who can build interesting useless devices, such as this Rube Goldberg contraption, which he assembled in his bedroom one winter.

Happy Birthday Stephen!