The Marathon Report

I can sum up my first marathon experience in a few words - blazing hot (the temperatures and the sun), and happy with my race time.

The weather was perfect if you were a spectator - 55 degF at the start, but by the time I finished, it was 80 degrees. No wind and no clouds, so it was brutal for the runners who had trained in sub zero temperatures, snow, ice and wind. I feel lucky that I didn't experience leg cramping this year - I got them last year under slightly cooler conditions and that was not fun. So, given the race conditions, I am very pleased with my time of 4:24, average pace of 10:04. I was targeting a 10 minute pace and wasn't too far off.
Completed marathon! #shirleyruns  #illinoismarathon
I forgot to turn off the Garmin immediately after crossing the finish line, I was so relieved to be done with it all, so the time here is a bit longer, but close enough.

Highlights of the race - seeing my friend, Jill, her boys and my son at mile 7 and then again at mile 16. At mile 16, my son met me in the road and ran with me for a couple hundred yards, declaring "this marathon thing is really easy!" The runners around me got a kick out of that.

A Short Term Bandit
A Short Term Race Bandit
My daughter and her friends cheered me on at mile 20. When I gave them a high five, she declared that I was "all sweaty and gross". To which I thought, "Well honey, that's what happens after 20 miles in this heat and unrelenting sun."
I also saw friend Shelly at miles 16, 18 and 21, friend Lisa just past mile 20. She had her Great Dane, Bella, with her and a sign that read "Run or my dog will chase you". Of course, most runners asked if Bella would give them a ride instead.

At the mile 19 water stop, I was caught totally by surprise:
#seenonmyrun #shirleyruns
I know this woman through Instagram (I don't even know her name, just her handle!) but I recognized her immediately, squealed, and gave her a hug. I started back on the road, and then realized I had to capture the moment. I backtracked had her pose and snapped the photo. Her thoughtfulness gave me great encouragement at the right time.

Other random sights along the course - it's normal to see people handing out jelly beans, water and hard candy, but some of the more unusual offerings included bacon, pancakes and beer. I passed up the first opportunity for some beer, and immediately regretted it, so when I came upon some a second time, I partook. Hey, you can't take this stuff too seriously.

Finally, a shot of me and The Professors, at the beginning of the race. These guys are the best.
Me and the Professors

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Two Years in The Making

My Running Future is Fuzzy
My Uncertain Running Future
This morning culminates a two year journey of waiting, working, surgery, determination, rehab, uncertainty, disappointment, tears, joy, laughter, pain, elation, the highs and lows I've experienced while getting to the start line of running a marathon.

Two years ago, derailed by an injury, I was very disappointed - almost bitter - on race day and was looking for any sign (namely the weather) that screamed "this wasn't supposed to be your year anyways so look to the future". But the weather that day, cool, with a slight mist in the air was perfect for running. I had to just take it on faith that the right time would come. I wondered how things might have been only-if or what-if I had done something different, something to prevent that injury.... Then I consider what that injury has led to - I started swimming, I started yoga and through these circumstances, connected with people who would play important roles in today's race.

And then I consider my schedule. This year has been ideal for the "Long Run" training on Saturdays. Looking back at the previous two years, Saturdays were filled with soccer and chauffeur duties. That all changed this year as my daughter now drives herself to the horse stable and she's no longer playing soccer. I've had ample time to devote to running on the weekends.

If I fail miserably today, I'll attempt not dwell on the only-ifs or what-ifs - those only-ifs in our lives lead down a path of fantasy. It is far better for us to embrace the current circumstances in our lives and move forward.

I realize now that two years ago, it indeed wasn't the right time.
Today isn't two years late, it's right on time.

Packed up and ready to go. #shirleyruns #illinoismarathon

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Taper Week Randomness

Definition of Taper - In the context of sports, tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance --Wikipedia

In reality, my taper started two weeks ago, but this week has such little activity scheduled that I hope I'll remember how to run come Saturday! In reality, I have a two mile run scheduled this morning, so I guess that will refresh my memory.

Here are My Taper week's Random Thoughts / Events:
1. It's really hard (for me) to run just two miles.
2. I awoke Tuesday morning at 2:30 and could.not.go.back.to.sleep. So I finished off the running book I've been reading, appropriately, the Mile Markers book - a book on running. These quotes really spoke to me:

I will give less energy to dread. I will trust my training. I will do my best not to be afraid.

If you stopped yourself every single time you were about to say, "I have to" and changed it to "I get to," it might change your entire experience.

3. This showed up in Tuesday's fortune cookie:
Words of Wisdom
Are the fortune cookie gods telling me something?

4. I arranged a nice dinner out with friends Tuesday night - I don't remember the last time we all got together. I love them all - they fill me up and encourage me so.
Great Friends

I'll be leaving work today at noon to pick up my Race Packet. Then, hopefully, a good night's rest before tomorrow.
Wishing you all a wonderful Friday!

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Soundtrack of my Life - The Marathon Playlist

I don't normally run with music, but I put together a playlist just in case I need a little something to get me through the last six miles this Saturday.

It's Time by Imagine Dragons
I'm opening with this one. Great beat and lyrics

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent
And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit
Right to the top
Don't hold back

It's time to begin, isn't it?
I get a little bit bigger but then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never changing who I am


Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles
It's no secret I am a HUGE Sara fan, so many of her songs will be on my playlist. I know all the lyrics and can sing them if I need to keep my mind off things.

You said, remember that life is
Not meant to be wasted
We can always be chasing the sun!
So fill up your lungs and just run
But always be chasing the sun!
The video is from a live performance of the song, and as usual, better than the studio recording.


Counting Stars by One Republic
I love that the song starts with an acoustic version of the chorus


Lately I've been, I've been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I've been, I've been prayin' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
Yeah, we'll be counting stars

Glamour Puss by KT Tunstall
Off her Tiger Suit Album, this song rocks with a ton of sass and attitude.

Long legs ... taking you somewhere
Catch your reflection in a window pane
The universe is startin' to feel ya
Drinking tequila like it's the name of the game

Well you know it hasn't happened yet
You're relying on your next cheque
I know that you're a glamour puss
My explanation's useless
So you chew, chew on the root
In your beautiful high heeled shoes
Miss Glamour Glamour Puss

Love Runs Out by One Republic
I guess I'm on a bit of a One Republic kick - I discovered this new song while streaming One Republic's Native Album, which has been re-released as an extended version. I downloaded the song from iTunes after a few listens. It is amazing and totally fits the running theme.
I'll be your light, your match, your burning sun,
I'll be the bright and black that's making you run.
And I feel alright, and we'll feel alright,
'Cause we'll work it out, yeah we'll work it out.
I'll be doin' this, if you ever doubt,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

I'll be your ghost, your game, your stadium.
I'll be your fifty thousand clapping like one.
And I feel alright, and I feel alright,
'Cause I worked it out, yeah I worked it out.
I'll be doin' this, if you ever doubt,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.

I got my mind made up and I can't let go.
I'm killing every second 'til it saves my soul.
I'll be running, I'll be running,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.
And we'll start a fire, and we'll shut it down,
'til the love runs out, 'til the love runs out.


Some of the other songs on my list, in no particular order:

Don't Stop Believing - The Glee Version (because it is an a capella rendition of the song)
Shake it out - Florence and The Machine
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Let the Rain - Sara Bareilles
Parking Lot - Sara Bareilles
Locked out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
Stone in Love - Journey
Best Day of my Life - American Authors
I Can Talk - Two Door Cinema
Pompeii - Bastille (yes, it's overplayed, but catchy)
Clarity - Zedd, feat. Foxes

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Running With The Professors

If someone had told me a year ago I would be running regularly with not one, not two, but three partners, I would have scoffed at the notion with a "no way - never". Afterall, in all my years of running (20+), it's always been a solo gig. Running has always been a refuge of solitude for me - an escape from the chaos of every day life. I never wanted to impose my pace on another person and felt the same way. Plus, I didn't know too many runners who liked running at 5am.

So, how I ended up with 3 running partners seems pretty random now - several chance encounters, common pasts, one common goal and voila - a running quartet. I now regularly run with three guys I call "The Professors". I know that may conjure up visions of old men in tweed jackets, but these guys aren't too old and certainly don't wear tweed (that I know of - I've only seen them in neon yellow jackets). Naresh, Andy and Dan are PhDs and Professors at the University. Obviously, I am the "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong" on SO many levels here (yeah, I run the slowest, too).

Naresh and Andy have run together for years. Andy and I happen to share a common past - we graduated from the same class at MIT, but somehow our paths never crossed back in college - weird because I know his wife (she also graduated from MIT) and when we play the "do you know so and so" game, it's always "yeah, I know him / her". Dan joined in - he is the fastest runner of the group, attempting to qualify for Boston. Naresh, Dan and I live less than a mile apart in the same subdivision, so it has been easy for the three of us to meet up in the cold, dark mornings.

Running with a group has its advantages - there's always interesting conversation (Andy always recounts some hilarious circumstance), so the time and miles pass by quickly. Having people to run with this harsh winter kept me on track with the running program. If I didn't have someone expecting me to show up on the snowy, cold streets at 5:30, I would have run a shorter distance inside on the treadmill or stayed in bed. It's peer pressure at its best - we've braved crazy blizzard conditions, sub zero temperatures, and drenching cold rains together. They've watched me slip, fall on the ice and helped me get back up. Andy complains a lot and we get to listen. We've also run through the soft snow, viewed several beautiful sunrises and watched the cold winter morph into spring (even if it doesn't feel like spring yet).

I know that running with a group of guys is a little "different" (I tend to get weird looks from my non running female friends when I tell them my weekend running plans and who I'm running with), but I'm an engineer and have been surrounded by men most of my life - I'm used to it. At the end of the day, we're simply runners driven by the same inexorable goal to go further or faster. Achieving those goals together has resulted in a special camaraderie, one I wouldn't trade.

Sorry, no photos of my and my running buddies, because we've never taken one. Maybe after this weekend....
Edited on May 9, 2014 to add the photo taken right before we all ran the Illinois Marathon. These guys are very special to me.
Me and the Professors

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Why I Run

Seen Along My Run

To feel the air in my lungs
To hear my feet hit the ground in a steady cadence
To see the moon and stars above - to know that I am so blessed when I see a shooting star
To watch the morning sky turn imperceptibly from black to deep blue to blue grey
To view the magic of the rising sun - the spectrum of colors from blue to the ball of yellow, an arc peeking over the horizon

To hear the birds chirping in the early hours of spring and summer
To see the bunny scamper across the lawn
To see the red fox run along the watery ravine
To watch the blue heron spread its majestic wings and fly away
To hear the geese honking as they fly above

To smell the lilacs and peonies and know that it is May
To smell the honeysuckle and know that it is June
To smell the crisp air and dried leaves of fall
To see the glimmer of dew on the grass in summer and fall
To be amazed by the layer of fog over the water as the golden sun beams through, casting shimmering beads of light on the water's surface.
To crunch over freshly fallen snow as it continues to softly fall, enveloped in stillness

To feel the wind howl across my face
To be battered by rain and sleet
To feel the inside my nose freeze immediately as I inhale the sub Zero air
To let gravity draw me down effortlessly on the downhills, to work my butt off on the inevitable uphill that follows
To feel my legs, heavy and sore, carry me forward even though I want to stop
To grow stronger with each stride and subsequent run
To enjoy the camaraderie that comes with running with friends
To feel that runner's high

I run to know acutely that I am alive

1. Good Morning Run #shirleyruns #seenonmyrun #sky #sunrise, 2. Still Waiting for Spring #seenonmyrun #morning #aroundtown, 3. The Running Trail #snow #snowglobe, 4. Loved Running Through This Part of the Trail #runchat #wildflowers, 5. 189/365+1 Great Morning for a Run. Inspired by @tmsweet. #sunrise #sky #clouds, 6. Mile Four #11miles #11/11/11 #running #chambana, 7. Clear Skies and Path, 8. Mile 2, 9. Coming into The Light #run #road #sky #goodmorning #morningruns, 10. Finished up - 20.2 miles today #run #selfie

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A Week of Running Posts

Running
1. A Snowy, Cold and Windy #run Today., 2. Take Off, 3. The Finish - Eleven Miles #11miles #11/11/11 #running, 4. After Nine Miles #selfportrait, 5. Well Earned, 6. Runners, 7. The View on My Saturday Run, 8. Post 21 Mile #run #shirleyruns #selfie, 9. Early Morning Run, 10. Run in the Ocean #fromwhereistand #brooksrunning

In honor of "Marathon Week", I will be sharing a series of running themed posts.

Why is it "Marathon Week"? Of course, today is Patriot's Day and the annual running of the Boston Marathon.
Closer to home, I will be running my first marathon this Saturday. In the world news, eyes will turn to Boston. Locally, there will be the hype and fanfare surrounding the big event that attracts close to 20,000 participants. I'll obsess over the fact that my training program only has me running a max of 3 miles before the race and I'll get antsy with nervous energy. I'll stalk the Weather channel forecast, praying for good weather (right now it looks to be a low of 49degF and a high of 64degF on the day of the race - slightly warmer than I'd like it, but really not too bad). I'll carbo load with friends, hopefully get enough sleep and hopefully just relax during the run.

If you want to read some of my previous running posts, here is a small collection:

My First Half Marathon
My Second Half Marathon
Running Inspiration
The Muddy 5K
11 Miles on 11/11/11
Perspective
Running That First Mile






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Even the Blackbird Knows It's Spring

Safe Haven

We'll just get through these next two days (snow expected tonight, ugh) and continue with Spring, please.

The photo reminds me of a great song, Blackbird, from the Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Performed here by Paul McCartney

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Spring Projects

We're taking advantage of the wonderful, spring-like weather and working around the house. Scott is here for several days and I've taken time off from work. We've been busy -

  • The cars have been washed and vacuumed.
  • Scott changed the oil in all three cars, using synthetic oil. This is an important detail, as the local "quick change oil place" uses regular oil which results in lower fuel efficiency. You can get synthetic oil at the "quick change oil place", but that oil change will run you $80.
  • The window blinds I ordered two weeks ago arrived Monday. I installed them Wednesday and Thursday. These new blinds have a top down option, which is great. Better yet, they actually function properly (the old ones did not).
  • The old grill has been completely dismantled and disposed of.
  • The new grill was moved from the garage to its warm weather spot on the back patio.
  • Scott instructed Brian on how to use the hack saw to break down the dried out Christmas tree. Normally, the Christmas tree gets picked up by city recycling, but each time they were scheduled to pick up, the tree was buried under a huge mound of snow and ice. Now it will go via the Spring refuse pick up.
Today's project - installing a double drapery rod for our 4-wide bank of windows in the family room. I've always put this off because the expanse is so wide. When we first moved into the house, I could only find rods up to 120" in length - not long enough. Now they are available up to 144" long and available at the local Lowes. I figured the job would take an hour - the instructions stated an estimate of 20 minutes. I'm pretty handy with the power drill, so the mounting hardware went up without any issues. Then I went to assemble the rods which commenced what seemed like the longest, most frustrating 90 minutes of my life.
I won't go into any details, but here are my Facebook statuses that accompanied the experience:
I may have a degree in chemical engineering from MIT, but installing this dang drapery rod is kicking my butt! The instructions suck.
Apparently, I should have studied mechanical engineering at MIT instead.
It took two chemical engineers to figure out the drapery rod installation. We ended up disassembling the rods, finials to get it to work. And we didn't get into a fight while trying to figure it all out!
Now I need a beer or glass of wine!
But I can't have a beer or glass of wine because I have to pick up my son from school. Instead, I'm drinking a green kale smoothie. I feel totally lame....
I had some prosecco after picking up the boy from school and feel much better.

Well, it's done now, so the next step is picking out drapes. Wish me luck!

Photos:
This week's tool of choice - the power drill.
Tool Of Choice #drill #homeimprovement
What is it about the high pitched rev of the power drill that makes you feel, well, powerful?

My reward after struggling with something as simple as a drapery rod - a little bit of bubbly Prosecco
Circuitous

Wishing you a nice weekend! It will be warm here and I wish the same for you!

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Chinese Fried Dumpling Recipe

Friend Shelly requested the recipe for dumplings I posted about in my last post. I "more or less" use the Fried Dumpling "Guo-Tie" from Pei Mei's Chinese Cookbook Volume 1, a classic, must-have cook book in any Chinese household. There are three volumes, but I only own one - my mother had all three and based on the condition of the physical books, volume one was the most used.

090125DSC_7322_3x4

I noted my changes in Italics below

Ingredients:
3/4 lb ground pork (I use 1 pound)
4 oz shelled shrimp, diced (I don't use shrimp, hence the increased amount of pork.)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, minced
10 oz Napa cabbage (I have substituted a pound package of frozen chopped spinach)
1 scallion, minced (I tend to use more)
1 ts ginger, minced (I tend to use more)
2 Tb soy sauce
1/2 ts salt
2 Tb sesame oil
~50 store bought potsticker wrappers (NEVER!) OR
ingredients for homemade wrappers (Always):
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup cold water, as needed

Method:
1. to make wrappers, add boiling water to flour and mix with chopsticks. slowly add cold water a little at a time, kneading with hands until dough is formed. cover with cloth and let stand 15 mins.
2. mix pork, shrimp, mushrooms, scallion, ginger, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil until thickened.
3. blanch cabbage in boiling water ~ 2 mins, plunge into cold water and squeeze dry. chop finely, squeeze dry again, add to pork mix. OR finely chop raw cabbage, add 1 ts salt, mix to combine, let stand 20 mins, squeeze dry and add to pork mixture. (I always blanch the cabbage. If using spinach, thaw it and squeeze dry. The spinach is great if you can't find Napa or if you want to save some time)
4. if making wrappers, remove dough to floured board and knead until smooth. divide into 40 pieces. flatten each piece by hand and roll into 2 1/2″ round thin pancake.
5. fold potstickers: put 1 Tb filling in center, fold over to make a half circle, and pinch edges together. carefully stretch a little longer.
6. heat pan very hot. add 2 Tb oil. when oil is hot enough, add enough dumplings to cover bottom of pan (in pretty pattern). cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 1 min. add 2/3 to 1 cup water, cover, steam until water is gone. fry another 1/2 min.
7. place serving plate over frying pan. invert quickly. prepare remaining portions, serve.

My General Notes:

  • Dumplings are not something one simply "whips up" for dinner. The process is labor intensive and time consuming, but totally worth the time and effort.
  • You must prepare the wrappers from scratch. Purchased "Pot Sticker Wrappers" from the store are totally different in consistency. They are really Won Ton Wrappers and just wrong for authentic Guo-Tie. Heck, if you are going to use purchased wrappers, just order take out.
  • Home made dumplings are more fun to make with friends and family. Whenever I get together with my sisters or parents, we take a day out to make dumplings. I've had my book club friends help me on two occasions - the time just flies, the process doesn't feel like "work" and everyone feasts on delicious food they helped create.
My Preparation Notes:
  • I always double the recipe. Even before my kids turned into voracious, all consuming teenagers, they could eat at least 20 dumplings apiece. I can eat at least 20, probably more like 30 in one sitting (yeah, we're pigs)
  • I prepare the meat filling the night before.
  • For the wrappers (that you MUST make from scratch), divide the ball of dough in half, then into quarters. Work with one section of dough, creating a long rope, about an inch in circumference. Then divide the rope into 10-12 sections and roll each piece out into the round pancake wrapper.
  • Once you have some wrappers made, your helpers can start wrapping the dumplings.
  • I generally make 40-50 dumplings, then cook them.
  • Rinse and repeat, eat and be merry!
Back in 2009, I posted my family's dumpling making Sunday - you can read about that here --> New Year's Dumplings

They say food brings people together. There is nothing more memorable than creating, cooking and enjoying good food with great friends and family.

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Stuff with Pictures Thrown In

This is going to be one of those disjointed, free wheeling posts with photos thrown in. Just so you're duly warned up front....

I've started to document the food I prepare for dinner, as in creating recipes of my family's favorite dishes. I typically don't measure anything and create meals based on photographs, recipes I've read but not printed out - I "wing" a lot of it. Recipes I've started to document include Lemon Shrimp with Pasta, Secret Ingredient Meatballs / Hamburgers, Veggie Burgers, Teriyaki chicken, and Black Bean Salsa.

Because I'm talking about food right now, here are some photos I took in February when I made Chinese dumplings for Book Club.
Step One

Its a Wrap
A college friend posted the recipe for Chinese Egg Tarts (Dan Ta) on Facebook. I need to make them - maybe this weekend.

Outside, plentiful rain is falling, mixed with thunder, lightning and wind. It’s a dark cloud day that makes you want to crawl in bed. It's warmer than last week when I took this photo during a morning run:
Still Waiting for Spring #seenonmyrun #morning #aroundtown
I ran two 6 mile loops that morning, with the first loop around sunrise. The rising sun transformed the cold, frosty, slightly misty landscape into a golden, glittery scene right before my eyes. It was pretty, albeit still cold. For the first time, I had to run with music in the background (I used my iPhone speakers). I normally eschew such stimuli, but I was SO bored running by myself. This has me thinking about my race strategy - I think I may need music to get me through the last 6 miles. Or I'll have to find a stranger to talk to.

My daughter competed in her first horse show last weekend. She entered the Dressage and Jumping events in the Starter Novice division. I learned a couple things that day - one, to rely upon the scheduled event times instead of waiting for my daughter to text me her event was coming up. I caught her Dressage ride, but missed her two jumping runs. Two, stick around for the show results - yes, I know, that's a no brainer, and I should have known better. She took home a first place ribbon for the jumping event and I missed it. Cue bad mom music, if there is such a thing.

Blue Ribbon Coming

During our visit to the Art Institute, we happened upon the staging of a future exhibit. I found it utterly fascinating - the workers had design drawings they were working from, several tripod set up with level cross hairs beamed on to the walls to guide them in the set up.

Behind the Scenes

I finally used the Panoramic functionality on my iPhone. It was perfect for this rendering of the Chicago Skyline in the Bean
Virtual skyline #chicago #bean

Finally, a cat photo, because you can't have a rambling blog post without something cat related.
Where He Shouldnt Be

Hope you have a great Friday! I've already gone to yoga class, will go to work and after work I get to pick up a case of wine, buy some art coloring pencils, pick up a library book before making dinner and sending myself to bed early in preparation for a 20+ mile run Saturday morning. I'm tired just thinking about it....


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Day Trip - The Art Institute of Chicago

How did I not know about the Art Institute of Chicago? When I mentioned taking a day during Spring Break to visit Chicago, my friend Jill suggested going to the Art Institute. Silly me, it never dawned on me that Chicago would be home to the second largest art museum in the US (behind the Met). I enjoy love art, but the act of visiting an art museum has always been reserved for trips overseas (why IS that?). Now that paradigm has been shifted for me – the collection at the Art Institute is truly impressive, and we only scratched the surface of its offerings in the five hours we spent there. Jill and I took our boys and they managed to stay positive during the visit, although if you ask them, they would say it was “boring”. Jill and I agreed – they would look back later and realize they got more out of the visit than they originally thought. [In fact, the very next day, all four boys spent time creating art – we are convinced they were inspired by Friday’s visit].

We started in the new Modern Art Wing, which opened in 2009. I love visiting Modern art galleries due to its enveloping experience. One can’t just slap a modern piece on the wall (which is how traditional art is displayed) and call it done. For modern art, the gallery space, the architecture of the room, the lighting, the placement of pieces must be designed to maximize its impact. Everything works together to elicit a response from the viewer. I feel like I am part of the exhibit, and I admit to watching other visitors in the gallery as they interact with the space.
Observer

In the Modern Art Wing, I saw lines everywhere – vertical, horizontal, all working to cut through the space, to provide interesting vantage points, to provide a dissection of the scene behind or in front.
City Lines

Black and Blue

I was particularly drawn to photo journalist Dayanita Singh's exhibit, Museum of Chance, which features new photographs of her subjects, in a unique rotational manner. The following poem was included in the collection and as I attempted to take a photo of it, I was informed that photography was not allowed in this particular exhibition.

Mistaken
I smiled at you because I thought that you
Were someone else; you smiled back; and there grew
Between two strangers in a library
Something that seems like love; but you loved me
(If that's the word) because you thought that I
Was other than I was. And by and by
We found we'd been mistaken all the while
From that first glance, that first mistaken smile.

-Vikram Seth

Outside the Modern Wing, we enjoyed extensive Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Collection, which includes famous works by Renoir, van Gogh, Monet and Seurat. Moving from room to room, we took in the progression from new to old, watching the evolution of technique, style and subject matter within the art world.

Finally, we quickly walked through the Thorn Miniature Rooms - miniaturized yet exquisitely detailed models of American and European rooms through the decades. There were two Asian room models that I saw - one which I photographed:
Mini Zen
All contained in area no bigger than a shoebox.

We left the Art Institute and walked the short distance to Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean". After all, a trip to Chicago isn't complete until you've taken a Selfie there:
#bean #selfie #chicago
Yeah, our boys are hanging around in the background, those goofs!

The boys will pose for Jill but not for me:
Thrilled #bean

Infinite perspectives abound in the medium of art.
Collision



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