Sunday, January 14, 2018

November Prep for Christmas 2017

In the Philippines, they start celebrating Christmas in September, really - as evidenced by the Christmas decorations in Rockwell Mall where we frequented in Manila - their justification was that any month that ended in "ber" or brrrr, was cold enough to start celebrating. well the funny thing is that we all know is that the temp in the Philippines rarely drops below 70* and is more likely than not in the 80's - but got to love the Philippino's sense of humor as it is wonderful - goodness! I miss living overseas ....


2017 Christmas tree!! The kittens got right at it .... 


Yup! Classic and expected shot when you have two little girls, two little kittens and a Christmas tree!


Christmas kittens. 


One good thing about a day off our two is that I can get out a bit. I am often drawn to places that might have a bit of a different cultural space and place .... this was at the bathroom of a food establishment I frequent. Nope, absolutely no idea what it says - and it was posted on a bathroom door! I ventured forward hoping it said something like "welcome to our luxurious room of rest! You are  welcome and accommodated!"          


Yup - placelessness and the power of pop culture in the cultural landscape ..... 



And across the street from the McMansion development with their prefab Christmas decor and you will come across places like this - appropriately and effectively decored but without the fabulousness of the commercial ones ... which one is better???


Ada Bomber reading at our Christmas pageant. She did great and is great!

November Stuff 2017

Some random stuff from the month of November, 2017. a few school related items as we had International Day - a tradition the day before Thanksgiving holiday - and a field trip for the SS department on a teacher institute day.


A diorama of the Hull House compound. The tent on top???? 

We ventured off as a department on a teacher institute day for the Hull House, a reflection of the progressive area in the cultural landscape of Chicago. Hull House was a community dedicated to helping those that needed help and was successful as to its design until it shut down at some point recently due to various forces in the city and country. The Hull House and museum are restored and preserved on the grounds of the University of Illinois at Chicago - where I spent a lot of time post graduate ,,,,,,...... 


.... is a TB (tuberculosis) tent. It was though that fresh air helped TB patients thus the outdoor, roof top party tent. 


The Hull House organization did lots of stuff the history folk enjoy that they did - like detailed maps of the economic situation of each ethnic group located in the area where Hull House operated. I spent a long time staring at these maps. Unfortunately - photos don't do it justice. 


Aarrggh - like a pirate - I can't remember what they called these - something like a coffin corner - actually I think that is it! They built these little slices into the wall of stairs so they could accommodate a coffin carrying the deceased from the second floor without an embarrassing compromise of the wall due to the awkwardness and incompatibility of the coffin and wall. 


One of my favorite days at school - international day. These were Korean kids rockin it - loved the choreography of their streamers which were attached to their caps. It was a traditional Korean drum core and this crew was well celebrated. Really fun stuff. There were several other presentations - I attended the Peruvian flute and guitar music - lovely - and the Mongolian throat singing which was absolutely rock star - really! A bunch of boys from a class were in the front row and were obvious aficionados of heavy/death metal and were doing the appropriate head motions as the throat singing fellow DEFINITELY challenged any death metal front man. 


Neko trying to keep alive the wonderfully fabulous icon of 2010's culture - the DAB. 


Our magically new sparkly dishwasher - sure are suburban .... .........


And a Narnian type door into ??????? 


Unto what do you think this door opens?

 

Good puppy.

November Randomness 2017

Again, apparently not much going on - but I am now watching Leicester vs @@##$%%^ Chelsea and at the gate underneath the stadium where they wait to venture onto the field - there is an actual countdown!! Five, four three two one ("come on boys ... here we go now... etc) come from the teams as they enter onto the pitch from the bowels of the stadium.


Pleasant fall over - this game was in the midst of a deluge of epic proportions. The field was artificial and the drainage was particularly effective but not this day. Eventually, the water began to stand on the field resulting in stalled balls and the comique proceeding and the game was called. 


Emmerson absolutely loved it - she just loves to play. I think we will be doing a lot of backyard one v one or two v one in the future. 


Sometimes you take a picture that is so memorable that no notes at the time are necessary. Well, I am guessing such was the case with this photo. And unfortunately, I have no idea what this photo was all about. But it is Ada on the southside of the the Bloomers Chocolate Factory. 


Again, outside the Bloemers factory - truck load of liquid sugar pumping sweet goodness into the factory. I am not sure if Bloehmers (dont remember how to spell it) uses cane or corn sugar as its sweet base. Most in the US and any country which does business with the US will most likely use corn syrup or sugar as we produce ridiculous amounts of corn and sell all sorts of corn products to the world - most notably, corn syrup (and most noticeable in soda's and other sweetened soft drinks)


The homeless situation has definitely increased in the last decade or so. Not so much the number but the permanence as demonstrated by this little area a half block north of the Oglvie transport center. 



Ada pointing across the Chicago River to one of the largest buildings in the world, the Merchandise Mart.  I think the Merch might be second only to the Pentagon as far as size/square footage/massiveness are taken into consideration.


Not sure but looks kind of artsy.


Sure are good girls .... 


At Claires at the train station. This is a regular stop as we typically need to wait a bit for the train as it  is the weekend and not as many scheduled as the weekday. 


Random Sept and Oct and Halloween 2017

I guess not a whole lot going on these months as not a whole lot in the photo file - perhaps busy with school and soccer.


AYSO season. Both the girls played again - this year, Emmerson was on a co-ed team and she really enjoys playing. Unfortunately, she is playing in an indoor league now that is above her ability level and she does not like it which is sad to see. She just doesn't want to do anything wrong and it really effects her confidence and how she plays. Oh well - she will have a few more seasons of AYSO which she loves. It was hard for me to get out to many games as I was in my own season which includes Saturday games or practice. It was actually quite a nice fall for the most part which made coaching and watching the girls bit more pleasant - can be painful standing on the sidelines in wet chilly weather. 


Kittens are still quite the couple. We had a fright with Neko this fall. 


Frustrating as I could not quite get close enough to take a recognizable picture of the license plate and drive at the same time ... but it was a license plate from a reservation - i think it had AZ on it which indicates Arizona but the name of the tribal group of the reservation was also posted.


Being a bit obnoxious here but such is the luxury of writing in a platform that no one will read except oneself  for posterious (made up this word) entertainment. Captured here is the essence of the difference between travel soccer and AYSO - it was cold - so much for ht pleasant fall ... and this gal was put in goal and to keep her feet warm, most likely to insure quality touch on the ball, she opted to don her Uggs for the match. All said and done - AYSO keeper gear - 60$ - Travel keeper gear - 600$. Wonder which one is having more fun .... again - obnoxious.


The "indian summer" had definitely traveled on. Wet and chilly. 


Emmerson did a good job with her rendition of a popular motif these days - the pumpkin with a compromised digestive system. 


Yaayyyy - Ada's pumpkin with creepy scars and facial features and such .... yaaay Ada!!


I have gone minimalist in my pumpkin carving. Trying to maintain some relevance to Halloween whithout the intricate carving. I have gotten it down to three relatively large, easy to cut shapes but still kind of creepy - especially when we inserted Emmerson's hair from her brush into the eye slots for the eyebrows. 


Good posing by the critters.


Ada was a soccer player zombie. Pretty amazing the props you can get to make a 10 year old girl look like a zombie. I remember back in the day - we were all bums or hobos (both of which I am pretty sure are a rather unacceptable descriptor these days) which involved darkening the face with a charcoal bricket or shoe polish .... 



Monday, October 02, 2017

Soccer Boys with Urban Initiative


NT hosted the kids from Urban Initiative for an afternoon of soccer. UI is a soccer club for lots of kids who do not have soccer programs at their school for clubs in the area. They create teams from the various schools in the area they serve and organize different opportunities for them to play futbal. It was a great day for the UI kids as they got to play on our turf field and for our kids to interact with them. 


The NT kids made a welcome tunnel for the UI kids.



Post game pic with the NT and UI kids all present. 




Emmerson in an early season AYSO game. She is playing on a co - ed team which she seems to be fine with. Her team is doing well and she is full on into it - simply loves to play whether its practice, a game or she and daddy one on one in the back yard. 


Go Emmerson!!!