Wishing everyone a lovely Valentine’s Day! And you know coming from me – I mean it!
It’s the end of January in Chicago, and people are still taking Christmas to the trash. As you walk by back alleys all you can see is discarded christmas trees still waiting for someone to deal with them. The city did have a recycling program, but I guess people are too lazy to purchase a tree with the responsibility of knowing they have to thoughtfully dispose of it. It made me a little mad, and a whole lot sad seeing all those lovely greens tossed away.
Everything is frozen. Chicago has been transported to Chiberia today, this is the coldest weather I think I have ever experienced in my life. It is crazy at -26*C [-14*F] and then add in the windchill factor and you get -42*C [-45*F]. That is one of the lowest temperatures on record. In fact, it is so crazy cold that you can instantly turn boiling water into snow [see below].
Stay warm if you are in this ‘polar vortex‘. Biggest issue at our house whilst weathering the cold temperatures – we ran out of Letherbee Gin last night leaving us at Death’s Door! Somehow I think we will make it.
The year 2013 was an interesting year to say the least, but it was still very good to me. Here are some highlights from each month.
APRIL – I was laid-off from my ‘day-job’. Since then for $$$ I have been doing some consulting & working on a career transition. This month was a little off-color but it soon got brighter : ) A small speed-bump.
MAY – My first piece of travel writing was published in Lonny Magazine accompanied by my husbands lovely photographs. And we celebrated a milestone birthday for my Husband with a huge party at the house, with this birthday song being the highlight thanks to our friend John Kamys.
JUNE – My mum came to visit from Australia, and we did some side trips. Firstly, staying in a lake house in Michigan & then onto Kentucky, where we experienced this amazing farm dinner and made some new southern friends. It’s always great to spend time with family when they live so far away creating lasting memories.
JULY – Had a fantastic time at Art Camp – Camp Wandawega as cook for a dinner & lunch, along with creator of this project. And enjoyed a few days at Kinnikinnick Farm – glamping with our newly wed friends [they were the only wedding for 2013 - and it was a good one].
AUGUST – We enjoyed the completion of our garden created by this wonderful person, & fulfilled my addiction to five-minute pasta dishes. We also had a house filled with visitors: good friend from the UK & our nieces.
SEPTEMBER – We made a last-minute / spontaneous decision to explore Bogotá- Colombia, love the people & the food – go visit it’s fantastic.
OCTOBER – I moved my obsession with faster pasta to coddled eggs. It was a lovely month without travel, where we caught up on Spring cleaning & spending time with friends & hosting lots of dinner parties.
NOVEMBER – We took-off over Thanksgiving to explore Hong-Kong & Beijing, ticking the ‘The Great Wall of China’ off the ‘TO DO’ list. More details still to come .. it was an epic adventure.
DECEMBER – Spent a very snowy Christmas with family in Michigan with 5 holiday dinner parties. We endured an ice-storm, that left us without electricity for 2 days. Needless to say we returned very full from food & plenty of love getting a chance to catch-up with many of my Husband’s extended family.
Despite the job loss speed-bump, it really was a great year filled with family, friends & travel. I am thankful for the support of my husband during the last nine months, he has been a saint and super patient with me. Looking at 2014 there are already loads of adventures planned and new things on the horizon. I can’t wait.
We are so excited to share this first christmas with our rescue mutt Banksy [#banksydog]. We love him to pieces, and he instantly filled our house with lots of love & laughter the minute he arrived in February 2013.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with things that make you feel peaceful, loved & happy. XXOO
We are super excited to be spending time outdoors this summer in our newly updated rooftop garden. Julie deLeon of Groundwork Design brought this beauty to life literally with her gorgeous live roof & container plantings. It started with our friend Joe Lambke, planning out the initial hardscaping, then with Jacob Shapiro & team from Sharchitecture doing the decking & wall removal. With some pinterest pieces I shared, Julie pulled it all together, throwing in a nod to our fave garden in NYC the highline. Collectively a brilliant collaboration. So who is bringing wine over? We are out-back waiting for you.
Bob Coscarelli & Tereasa Surratt teamed up once again at Camp Wandawega for another spread in Flea Market Style magazine – on sale now. Tereasa created a pile of awesome DIY ‘paint-by-numbers’ ideas for people to be inspired by. Her crafty pieces move the pictures off the walls, and have been reimagined into all sorts of clever pieces from: coasters to necklaces; to gift wrapping & placemats. Check it out! So fun.
Check out Bob Coscarelli’s blog & more photos here -> cbob-foto
Super excited to have had the opportunity to work in collaboration with Bob Coscarelli [aka husband] writing a story to go with his lovely photographs for the stunning May issue of Lonny Magazine. The article is on Civita, and with four previous blog posts on the tiny town, we all know how much I love that place. It truly is an amazing experience, and I seriously could wax poetic about it forever, so having it appear in a hugely successful publication like Lonny makes my heart sing. Head on over here and jump to page 148 to read the article. OH! And SO totally geeked to be in an issue no-less with Kelly Wearstler on the cover!
Here is the proof – our names printed as ‘Contributor’. I hope this isn’t the only opportunity we get to work with the team at Lonny, they are so wonderful, supportive and super encouraging. A BIG thanks to Lonny Magazine [especially Irene Edwards - Executive Editor] for giving me the chance to write the piece. It was so fun, we love your publication.
- On the Banning of Institutionalized New Work - I am banning the viewing of new work in Contemporary and Modern Art Museums until further notice – oh you can view the genre – if you like – but I’m out – for a while – I’ve banned things for myself before – I ban things I tire-of or sicken-of – to prevent myself from developing an all-out hatred-for – and when sufficient time has passed – when I believe they will again be of value – I allow them to return – there is currently – in effect – a ban on Crème brûlée – a dessert so over-exposed – I fear it may never again excite – time will tell – another dessert on the banned list – for some years now – is Tiramisu – once the welcome pick-me-up of the trattoria-craze days – eaten now – Tiramisu is a guaranteed let you down – also in effect – is a ban on the blanket thoughtless ebay-like use – of the term “mid-century modern” – banned in the hope that – prior to it ever falling out of my mouth – I will opt for specificity and detail – and while – “I admire those 1947 George Nelson bubble lamps.” – may take a bit of thought to utter and research to understand – I believe it is a far more interesting a statement to make than the grating and tiresome – “I love those (you-know-what) lamps.” – Contemporary Dance is also banned – banned until thick-thighed women stop running in circles – circle running – contact improvisation – dramatically slow slow-motion gestures – that swing-release thing – surely the last drop of meaning – for our time anyway – has been extracted from these actions – I attempted to lift this ban – last summer – and attended an evening of contemporary dance – but dammit if the muscly-legged ladies did’t start that circle run – and within minutes of the opening curtain no less – why do they still do that? – banned – I ban more established things too – in the realm of art – there is a permanent ban on the Impressionists – as well as Kandinsky – which brings me to my Contemporary and Modern Art Museum new work ban – I’ve loaded up on new work over the past few weeks – and I have had my fill – actually – I have had my fill of new work for the last decade – but like any good soul – I try to nourish an appreciation for the arts – and I have given new work chance after chance to leave me gasping for air – oh there is the inspired piece here and there – but what boredom and pretense one must endure to find it – rooms filled with televisions – something different playing on each one – again – photographs of the raw realness of this world – again – large or small objects in repetition – again – a room full of refrigerators covered with small mirrors – a room full of suitcases – a room full of anything really – globes – driftwood – plastic spheres – trite video installations – with numbing I-just-picked-up-a-keyboard-for-the-first-time electronic music – a video of a woman looking at photographs – a woman making a pot juxtaposed with a taxidermist – a staged brutal interrogation of a blindfolded woman – in German – and then there’s the audible strained breathing that seems a necessity for any video work that explores the human body – this week I watched a video of a piano on fire in a field – it was projected onto four large video screens – in a space more than twice the size of my home – I watched – I waited for something else to happen – nah – it burned and looped and burned and looped – and then there’s the digital this and that – and here we go again – oh the reek of the interactive multi-media installation – and all so serious – and revered – most institutional new work – so oppressively guarded – one is fearful of cracking a smile even if one is amused – all the stinking pyrite one must sift through while panning for gold – for what? – a glimpse into the human condition? – the proponents of such places may say I don’t get it – I’m missing something – that I am merely pedestrian – but I don’t think so – I read every damn line the curator puts up – and if available – the artist’s statement – I am obsessive like that – all that blather about the relationships between this and that – all that haughty art-speak – all that what the artist is trying to convey hoo-hah – how so and so looks at the themes of x, y, and z – more than the works themselves – this is the stuff that unnerves me the most – the emperor’s new clothes of copywriting – in place – to distract you from the fact – that in these hallowed halls – not much new is happening – has been happennıng – someone pleas rub me wıth meat already – I think – there is so much newness in our age – why am I observing this room full of televisions again – yes – I have had my fill – and don’t pipe-in with but you haven’t seen the work of so and so – because so and so has chosen poor company – I regret the need to do this – i do – but until further notice – and perhaps an international cultural shift – I am banning the viewing of new work in Contemporary and Modern Art Museums – for a time – I shall remain open to galleries and individual shows – provided there is no copy to read — I had a marvelous dessert last night – a luscious quince – in syrup – with cream so thick it had to be knife-cut – and it was far more interesting and inspiring than any new work I have seen in a Contemporary or Modern Art Museum in some time – such beauty – I should like to fill a room with this dessert – and have people come to eat it – without commentary – period -
For more Monday Musing by JK click here.
- sadly – Clamato – and Catalina Dressing – aren’t flying off the shelves – the way they used to -
For more Monday Musing by JK click here.
What’s To Be Done With John Kamys
What’s to be done with John Kamys?
That blabbering dull ignoramus.
He’s rather a slob.
Does he have a “real” job?
Oh, one day he surely will shame us.
So what’s to be done with John Kamys?
He tried once or twice to get famous.
But his face was too scary!
His back was too hairy!
His antics we figured would maim us.
Well what’s to be done with John Kamys?
If we killed him could anyone blame us.
His writing is drivel.
He’s eager to quibble.
Let’s do it before he can name us!
And how shall we kill this John Kamys?
WIth his damn jokes that end in “Uranus”
We could chop off his head!
Or his penis instead.
Yes! Heroes the world will proclaim us!
For more Monday Musing by JK click here.
Bob Coscarelli has been working on a series of portraits for Envestnet in collaboration with New York based Sequel Studios. The client was rebranding their website & and working on an annual report with some case studies on some of the Envestnet clients / advisors. Bob was taken, not only by the great people he got to photograph, he also admired the alluring Chicago offices they reside in designed by the talented Julie Fisher.
- so this guy’s like – hey – and ugh – everybody does that kind of Dead Sea pic - and I’m like – hey – and ugh – do you know how many times I have had to look at people with that damn Chicago Bean Cloud Gate thing? – tourists – we take pictures – that’s what we do -
For more Monday Musing by JK click here.