Friday Night

On Friday, I had a night out with my friend who is moving from Chicago to Boston. By the time I return from my trip, she will be already in the process; that’s why we had our little farewell on Friday.

We had dinner at Forte and then watched 1776 in the CIBC Theater, and it was a perfect Friday night!
I have not been to Forte since it reopened after remodeling and was renamed Forte from Tesori. They went to a smaller selection than the previous menu, but everything was of excellent quality. Also, they serve Vanille desserts, and I forgot about it until I saw it!

The show was great! I love this musical, and this production has an additional twist – all male parts are sung by women, and this is done in such a compelling way that ten minutes into the show, you forget about it and focus on what’s going on on stage.

It was a wonderful night indeed!

I wanted to say that it was the first good night of the week, but I immediately corrected myself because I had other good things this week, like dinner in the youth shelter and Chicago PUG. And a very fun recording of my talk. I don’t know what to make out of this week. I am sitting in the Field Lounge of American Arilines (yes, after an hour wasted last night, I checked-in at the airport with no problem, checked-in my luggage, and had some time to sit in the lounge). The food here is really awesome, so I decided, I will skip dinner on the plane and eat here. So yet another time – something stressful and then something good.

My Birthday Celebration

It feels like the whole birthday week with Boris being here since the 14th, with so many birthday wishes and things I’ve done during the week. On Saturday, Vlad and Anna organized a big party for me, and many of my friends came.

There were some dramatic moments with an original venue going out of business and too many people being unable to come due to COVID (either being sick or quarantining or deciding not to risk). Still, it was a great event, and I am very thankful to Vlad and Anna for organizing it!

I think there are more pictures around, and if I finally collect them from everyone taking pictures, I will post more :).

Still, Cards And Cookies

My tree will come down on the upcoming weekend but I still receive Christmas mail! Looks like the flight cancellations and the rest of the mess right before Christmas also affected mail delivery, and my parcel from Germany sat in ORD for at least a week!

I finally received it yesterday!

There is such a variety of cookies, and the ones I tasted are awesome, and out of twenty, only one broke!

Here is a Christmas card from Japan, which also made it this week:

Also, a card from one of my few still-sane Russian friends made it to that side of the pond! It looked like it crossed the Atlantic swimming on its own, so the card itself was almost destroyed, but the ornament inside survived, and I hung it on my Christmas tree:

I am going to take the last picture of my cards display on Saturday, before removing them and storing them.

Cards And Cookies Are Coming My Way

I waited until 9 PM, but nothing came with today’s mail. Most likely, our house was skipped again, and all the mail I’ve seen for the past three days in the “Informed Delivery” will arrive on Tuesday. I know that at least three more Christmas cards are there. But many arrived in time, and my fireplace looks very festive –

And I received a parcel form New Zealand, with cookies, and the best woolen socks ever, and a summery Santa!

634 cookies!

I am so thankful to Lena for coming and helping me this weekend! I don’t know what I would do without her! Also, four people were helping us to decorate today, and I do not know what I would do without them!

Lena’s gingerbread cookies
My Outrageous Double Chocolate Cookies in making
And ready to go into the oven
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It’s a Cookie’s Weekend!

(Once again, forgot to publish yesterday!)

Lena and I worked so hard that we didn’t have time to take pictures. We took two breaks – one to walk my mom home after she stopped by (also, we somehow ran out of butter and needed to get some more, and the closest grocery was by my mom). That break was unplanned, and the one we planned was to go to the Loop to Christkindle market and see the Chicago Christmas Tree. to our huge disappointment, there was a long line to enter the market, so we didn’t go: and there was even a line to come closer to the Christmas tree, and we made it πŸ™‚

Lena gave me this t-shirt last Christmas
Lena and I by Chicago Christmas tree

Life Gets On The Way

I can’t catch up with life. I returned a ticket for today’s Baroque concert so that I could catch up on my emails, personal obligations, and to finally finish the example for my bitemporal presentation (there was a bug which I could not figure out).

And life kept getting on my way! Yes, I found a bug, and I found a couple of emails which I forgot to answer, but it’s so little in comparison with what I need to do! And in the middle of me doing all this work, I heard a bang on my door, and my neighbor stormed in with a whole bunch of technical problems (her phone is not working, her facebook is hacked, and more). I do not think I fixed any of that, but at least she walked out being less upset and with some Austrian chocolates.

Oh, and guess what – I found my Bavarian witch, and she’s hanging out on my balcony!

Approaching The End Of Summer

The days are busy but in a good way. I liked a lot how productively we spent time with Boris, especially the last three days when he was here when we went kayaking, to a concert, and to the Art Institute, and found a new gelato place, and did the bike shopping, and went for a long bike ride just before it started raining.

And now, when he left, I am still doing something interesting every day, and my work days are full. Even though I know that I am missing a lot of summer events, I do not feel like I am “missing out.” I feel like I am living this summer to the fullest.

Today I managed to go on an hour-long bike ride in the morning, even though the sun was rising later these days, and then worked with my current customer with no unproductive interruptions and went to the beach for my lunch break. And after work, I had a friend over – we didn’t see each other in person since before the pandemic.

I have something planned for almost every day until the end of the month, and it feels very good πŸ™‚

Rogers Park Adventures

I still can’t believe that Lena and I did each and single thing we planned for that weekend! Today, it was raining in the morning, and I thought both our biking and swimming were not going to happen. But the rain suddenly stopped at 6-30 AM, and Lena didn’t leave me an option to think about whether it was too late or too wet – she just emerged out of her room and said that she was going to walk to her car to get her helmet :).

We biked to the “Windmill” and returned to a late breakfast, then went swimming, trying to catch the time before the lifeguards would be in. I was skeptical about swimming at 72F and with no sun, but it was perfect -the water was already so warmed up that even the cool temperatures of the previous two days did not affect it.

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Chicago Adventures With Lena

Yesterday, my friend Lena from Ann Arbor came to visit me for the weekend, and today was a blast! Not even mentioning how much I enjoy Lena’s company, what a fun person she is, but we did tons of cool things together.

We started the day with the Millennium Art Fair on Michigan Avenue, where I bought two rings with flowers inside, and Lena bought a pair of earrings with butterfly wings (they explained to us that they collect the wings from dead butterflies).

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