Rail Cars Reception

On Thursday, Igor and I attended the Annual Rail Car Reception organized by Historic Pullman Foundation. It was a benefit event, and since neither Igor nor I had time to go to Pullman Days this year, I thought I could support Pullman financially and see cool cars simultaneously. So I got two tickets for both of us.

I thought that there would be some programming, but it was literally a reception held in the old cars. It was nice because you could go through three different cars from the late 40s and 50s, but I hoped for more words :).

Also, for some reason, we were almost constantly passed on food (it was mostly finger food, and waiters were walking back and forth with the trays passing us:).

Igor spent a lot of time taking good pictures, but he still didn’t sort them and didn’t share with me, so I will only post the pictures I took

The coolest part was that we could enter all the cabins, and touch everything, and even touch the silverware and menus!

I am not sure I will do it again next year, but it was a very interesting experience!

Saturday – As Planned!

That’s the most amazing fact about today – I did pretty much everything I wanted, and som more!

Long (ish) bike ride in the morning:

My cleaning lady came to wash the windows, and this year, we were also to open all of them. While she was washing the windows, I did a big portion of my emails and started my submissions to PG Conf NYC. Then I went down to Jarvis square fair and bought a lot of plants for my balcony and for our courtyard vegetable garden. Then I hung out for a little bit at the fair, chatted with the neighbors who also went down there, bought a crazy artisan doughnut

and hurried to the Abortion Protection rally (and finished my conference submissions on the CTA)

After the rally was over, I went straight to the Switch on Summer event (Switching on the Buckingham fountain). Last year, I came there too early and as a result, didn’t stay till the actual turning on the fountain (it was too hot). This time, I came at about 1-15, and it was perfect!

Continue reading “Saturday – As Planned!”

Women Impact Tech Conference

I week ago, I attended one more conference, Women Impact Tech. Before the pandemic, I tried to attend similar events, mostly to support the movement. This was the first in-person post-pandemic event, and I was offered a free registration, so I decided to go and see where we all as women in tech stands, and what people are doing not only to attract more women to the tech industry, but also to support them at the workplace so that they won’t have to be “ten times better than any male applicant” to get the job, and so that they fell comfortable at the workplace.

I won’t say I had all questions answered, but I it was very refreshing to see so many women in leadershop positions and to hear their keynotes!

Continue reading “Women Impact Tech Conference”

May 1

I went to the new plaque dedication at the Haymarket Memorial. The weather was miserable, so unfortunately, it was hard to feel May-Day-like. Probably, a part of it was that I was not that much in the May Day mode because of a conference and all other professional things going on. So, there won’t be a proper MayDay post, but at least some pictures of this very rainy event are here!

An Opera Close To Home

How come I didn’t know about the Theo Ubique Cabaret until I saw a review in Tribune a couple of weeks ago?! I purchased tickets for Saturday night because I wanted to go somewhere with Boris after the conference, and I didn’t want to return late from the Loop.

I was so tired by Friday evening, and even more by Saturday afternoon, that I thought that I would let these tickets go, the would be no fun when I am so tired. And you’ve already guessed – I am happy we went.

Here is a review of the show I found online, and the last paragraph says:

With all its conflicts and contradictions–including the fact that this anti-capitalist broadside is being presented by a non-union company–this is still the single best Brecht production I’ve ever seen on a Chicago stage. Veteran director Anzevino and company know what works in cabaret, and the concept–dark, broad and boldly theatrical–is right on target. This “Threepenny Opera” is not pretty, but it is indeed art. And if the theater gods are just, it will be a hit.

And I agree!

After I Returned

There was a lot going on. Chicago conference remains my major concern: it is just two weeks away, and there are so many things that still should be addressed! I am working them out one at a time, but still!

On the positive side – I am going through my to-do lists, and I am doing a lot of cultural activities! I guess it will take a while for me to compensate for the pandemic cultural desert.

Things I’ve done so far.

Last Wednesday, I went to see “Tina” – Tina Turner musical.

I chose an outfit that I didn’t put on for a while, and my coworker liked it so much that she insisted on taking a picture of me. So that’s how I was dressed on that day:

I liked it, but I was not crazy about it, in part because the music was just too loud to enjoy – the first time in my life I regretted I didn’t have earplugs.

Earlier that day, we had a book club discussion at work. Believe it or not, but that was the first time in my life I participated in the book club, and it was only because it was at my workplace. We chose the book collectively back in February: first, people were just suggesting titles, and then we had a vote on Slack. When the book (“Never let me go”) was chosen, our hR sent copies to everybody who signed up (or ebooks or audiobooks). I already had my audiobook purchased several years ago; I just never came up to reading it.

As I mentioned earlier, I had mixed feeling about that book. Although it is very well written, the whole plot seems to be very artificial. Although I understand that the idea was to highlight how humans make excuses to pronounce other non-humans when it is convenient to them, I did find the book convincing. Possibly it’s because these days, we know that cloning cells and even stand-alone organs are more achievable and less expensive than cloning humans. And I can’t relate to books that can’t make me believe that whatever is described in the book could happen. As usual, the problem might be with me rather than with the books :). In any case, it was a relief to find out during our book club discussion that some other readers shared my feelings.

On Friday, it was “Cry it out” – a play written by Molly Smith Metzler and presented by Above The Law – a small theater just across my house. I’ve been to one of their performances before and loved it, and wanted to see another show. Since it was so close, I suggested that my mom and Igor also come, and I invited my friend MaryAnn. Since the theater is so tiny and each performance is sold out, I booked our tickets back in February. I was glad that everybody, including Mary Ann, could make it! I found a play synopsis from some other theater just to give an idea of what this play is about. The “Above the Law” theater cast was amazing, as always :).

On Monday, I listened to Bach’s St. Mattew Passion, presented by Music of Baroque. I remember hearing this piece for the first time – in the spring of 1991 when I was pregnant with Vlad and Anna. I believe it was the first time it was performed in the Leningrad Philharmonic, and listening to unmistakable religious music felt very revolutionary. It made such a profound impression that I still remember what the soloists looked like.

This time, it didn’t feel revolutionary, just a beautiful music. I didn’t stay till the end because I knew I won’t get enough sleep, and I had the whole week of cultural events ahead.

On Tuesday, I went to the Member’s Event at the Field Museum for the opening of the new exhibit “First Kings of Europe”

I will blog about it separately because I want to show more pictures.

And finally, yesterday I saw “A Soldeir’s Play” at CIBC Theater. Although this performance was a part of Broadway in Chicago, it is not a musical (several musical numbers are included, but overall it’s drama based on the movie of the same name).

Chicago Tribune noted in the review that it was very symbolic that the play premiered on the night when Brandon Johnson won the mayoral elections!