Peaches Prattlings

Just your typical Saturday for us, right?!

We woke up before the alarm, that was nice, definitely don’t want to miss this! Got dressed in our yoga gear, put our clothes over it, no changing rooms at the event, yoga mat and yoga towels in the beach bag I brought to carry everything. There was some planning that went into this! Headed out, Dunkin’ Donuts was across the street, let’s wake up! There aren’t any DD’s close to us here, so we stick to Starbucks, which isn’t bad, PSM’s the choosy one when it comes to his morning cup o’ joe! Same in Hawai’i, the DD was not so good there! They got their first DD only a few years ago, they’ll get there. Uber ordered, just waiting.

Uber arrives, takes up the 2.5 miles to the Lighthouse ArtSpace where the Immersive Van Gogh Chicago is being held and where we were taking a yoga class offered by Core Power Yoga IN the Immersive Van Gogh Chicago Exhibit! We actually participated in a yoga class while the exhibit was happening.

The way the exhibit works, from their site: Be immersed in 500,000 cubic feet of stunning projection animating the master’s oeuvre and illuminating the mind of the genius. Wander through giant projections that highlight brushstroke, detail, and colour as you have never experienced them. Visitors will be immersed in Van Gogh’s works from his sunny landscapes and night scenes, to his portraits and still life. All of that, while set to music.

Originally, we were going spend a weekend in Chicago and go to the exhibit, and depending on the weather, we were going to take the bikes. I bought the tickets and we were set. Well…about two or three weeks ago, I got an email, telling me about the yoga classes in the exhibit! How could I resist!? I immediately emailed and asked if I could exchange our tickets so we could do this yoga class. As soon as they said yes, I checked with PSM which weekend would work best. This weekend it was, so exchanged happened, and…included with our tickets…we could spend time in the exhibit, win-win!

We got there early, got our temperatures checked, and waited, there was a class ahead of ours. The music we heard was nothing like any music any of our regular yoga instructors play! The room was dim, there were rings of light on the floor, spaced out. This is where they want people to sit, socially distant to experience the exhibit, but worked out for yoga, everyone just took a circle and put down their mats. There were three triangle or obelisk mirrors in the room, turns out they were for the event, but looked cool! The instructor came in and we got started about 8am.

As we are getting into child’s pose to get started, the exhibit began. That meant the music queued up, the video projectors started going, and we were immersed in the experience. It was a normal yoga class, well, not normal for us, we now know why it’s called Core Yoga! Wow! There were only two negatives to the entire experience…a few times, the instructor’s mic didn’t work, it was a big room, acoustics, and just technical difficulties and because it was moving all around us, sometimes the floor seemed to be moving, not good! Oh, and when you do a tree pose and the instructor tells you to look at something that’s not moving, to work on balance, and the entire place is moving…ha ha ha. Other than that…we moved, we stretched, we balanced, we downward faced our dogs! we sweat! So much fun!

After class, we got into street clothes and hung out in the next room, sitting in one of the circles on the floor, we missed an opportunity for a loveseat, all good. The exhibit began. Every space in the room was filled with images and movement. There wasn’t a nook or cranny the images did not catch. Look up, over, down, you name it, there was movement. The paintings were swaying, moving, morphing into the next painting, breaking down or deconstructing the strokes of the paintings, getting a feel for how he created them, the colors, the sights, the movements, all made sense in this amazing feet of beauty.

We sat through it once on the ground level, then moved up for the second time to watch it from the balcony, a different experience, you catch things from that angle that you didn’t see from the ground. You really paid attention, well, I did. “Oh, look over there!” “Now, look here!” and it went on from there. We essentially participated three times, nothing like it.

When we left, we headed to the gift shop, we picked up a few things, PSM bought me a mask with one of my new favorite paintings, after seeing it in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette. I love so much of his work, but his sunflowers series, sigh…you know how I feel about sunflowers! I love this mask!

Everything they did in the space was so clever, they stairs and walls were painted with Van Gogh’s work, the elevator, stairwell, even the signs were clever “Gogh this way” “No Gogh – Do Not Enter” “Goghing Up Elevators”. For one who so loves a funny pup, bad dad joke, I was Goghing Ga Ga over all of it!

After yoga and the experience, it was time for brunch! I was hoping to get to a few of my favorite places in Chicago to eat, but, just like the rest of the country, it was opening back up and things were limited. We ended up going to Kanela’s in Old Town for brunch, it was less than a mile away and had a good rating. We got lucky and didn’t have to wait for a table, wahoo. Our waiter was funny, the place a little kitschy, I absolutely love the signs on the way, berry punny!

I had avocado toast with a fried egg, kale salad, and some seriously crispy potatoes, it was seriously yummy! PSM had an açaí bowl and we shared a plate of challah French toast. Mimosa, decaf coffee, and a masala chai tea for me with oat milk.

Time to walk of brunch! We decide to walk the 3+ miles back to the hotel, it warmed up nicely as we were walking, then got downright toasty! ha ha, go figure! As we came upon Wabash Avenue and State Street, the lights were red and the bell was clanging, there were some sailboats coming and the drawbridge was going up! This is one of my favorite things about Chicago! And they still work!

We watched the drawbridge go up, we loved it, even though we really didn’t have a choice, since we had to cross the bridge when we came to it. Oh, sorry! ha ha. We enjoyed Spring in Chicago, flowers in bloom, all the way back to the hotel. At the hotel, hang up the wet yoga stuff, take our shoes off and relax! Executive decision from someone who is dairy sensitive to someone who’s allergic. Pizza and beer for dinner. How could I say no? We were in Chicago and they have bathrooms! HA HA

We were a few blocks from a Giordano’s, one of the two more famous places for deep dish or Chicago-style pizza in Chicago. There are many fine establishments, but PSM hadn’t been to this one and it was close. We got there, put our names in, ordered our pizza, and waited for a table, ended up walking towards the back of the restaurant and there were two seats available at the bar, sold!

We put in drink and appetizer orders and waited for things to magically appear! We went for the motherland! PSM had an Classic Chicago deep dish pizza and I went for the spinach and added pineapple, and for an appetizer, we ordered the combo, so not right! ha ha. Cheese bread, chicken nugget things, and mozzarella triangles. Hey, if you’re in, you’re all in!

Needless to say, there was more than enough food, for a few people, and we both ordered small pizzas! Normally we would share, but we were in Chicago, home of the deep dish pizza, have to get what you really want! NO, we did not eat it all! Let’s just say, there is a very grateful homeless man in Chicago eating really well tonight!

We didn’t feel like going back to the hotel just yet, so we stopped at Plymouth Pub, Restaurant, and Rooftop Bar. I had been there a few times, with work outings, and friends from work. We weren’t staying, just one beer and we were out. It’s got a nice atmosphere, and a decent view.

We left there, went around the block, because the entrance across the street, really wasn’t an entrance, go figure, to Brando’s Speakeasy! No secret knock, pook! We did have to show our IDs to the guy at the door, I held mine up, he said, “you showed me the back”, but all good. I said “You did say you just wanted to see that we had IDs…” Made him laugh. There was karaoke going on in the front, but no available seating, so we were lead to the back, ended up at the bar, and there was one other person in the room, how exciting…and the music wasn’t our taste.

I went up to the front and asked if there was anything in the front, no dice, I leaned over and said, there’s no one back there, it’s kind of dead, and the music sucks. I can’t believe I said that! So rude! Back to PSM I went. All of a sudden the music changed, it was like 70s and 80s, we were loving it! Then…all of a sudden, the room was filling up and everyone was having a great time, apparently, we made our own karaoke bar! Ha ha! When the guy who sat us came back around, I apologized for saying the music sucked, but thanks for sending folks our way!

The lighting was dim, the front room was washed in red, our room was cozy, with tv’s showing old black and white movies and tv shows. There were classic cartoons, black and white, of course, and old movies with ladies stripping, it was a speakeasy.

After about two hours, there was a two hour limit per table, and we were getting there, we sang our way out of the speakeasy and headed back to the hotel. Shoes off, jammies on, lay down, zzzzzzzz.

More adventure awaits tomorrow…but no alarm!

Before you start crowing, I was listending to Pandora radio and one of my favorite stations is Broadway Musicals. As I’m working, Why can’t a woman be more like a man? from My Fair Lady came on, sung by Rex Harrison.

The musical, which originated on Broadway and then was made into a motion picture staring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn, sigh, one of my alltime favorite actresses, yes I know, I know, I have many, but she was…well, that’s another post for another day. And another post…the fact that Julie Andrews made that role on Broadway, but was denied the role because the producer, Jack L Warner didn’t think she was well known enough as a screen actor, humph I say! Don’t get me wrong, Audrey Hepburn was fabulous in the role, but c’mon on!

The tagline from IMDB: Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle presentable in high society. That about sums it up. She’s poor and uneducated, he’s rich and possibly over educated. She doesn’t think she’s better than anyone, meaning, she is who she is, but she would like to improve her station and be a little more polished, she has a great song Wouldn’t it be loverly, truth be told, that was where I heard and first started using the word loverly, it’s a simple song of the simple things she wants in life. On the opposite end, he thinks he’s better than everyone, there’s no filter when he opens his mouth and his mother just shakes her head when he comes around.

Eliza overhears Henry Higgins identifying different individuals accents while outside of the theater one night, even claiming he could make her a proper lady. Eliza goes to his house the next morning wanting to hire him to give her elocution lessons, she wants to ‘talk better’.

Digression here…one of my favorite lines from Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith, who is having a conversation with Joan Cusack about taking speech classes. “What do you need speech classes for? Ya tawk fine!” Classic! Back to our regularly scheduled program…

Higgins agrees to take her on and “class her up”, he’s going to work with his house guest, Colonel Pickering, played by Wilfrid Hyde-White, to do it. The goal…the Embassy Ball, to see who they can fool. They work day and night, Eliza suffering through the torture he puts her through, while he suffers through the tireless effort he’s putting in, interesting take on things, different viewpoints. She manages to make it through, imagining all the ways to kill him! Just you wait. And for some reason he can’t understand why he can’t get along with women…

All of a sudden, she gets it “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain“, try saying that through a mouth full of marbles…and there is much joy and praise in the house, but…not for Eliza, it’s all for Henry Higgins, for all the work he’s done…The first test…take Eliza to the races to meet her mother and see how she fits in with the upper crust, she passes, mostly. She only says what she’s told, sort of, until the first races starts, then the gutter snipe comes out, for a moment, it’s priceless, and she actually charms a few people with it, especially one young man, but that’s another story for another day. Well, wait, here’s a man who falls in love with her, who just wants to be On the street where you live, but who does Eliza eventually fall in love with? Yup…

Back to the purpose of the post. After the races, which was a success, we are off to the Embassy Ball, where she is stunning, and stuns. She is regal and refined, and any other r words? She’s polished and proper, and a thing of beauty, she charms everyone and the Queen of Transylvania asks her to dance with the prince. She is now what she wanted to be, polished and proper, she could do anything, get a job in a flower shop, she could run the flower shop, she could probably marry well, who knows. Keep in mind, the story is set in London 1912, none of this would be considered wrong, unheard of, out of the ordinary.

Well, what happens when they get home from the ball, Higgins and Pickering are so very proud of themselves, the household staff have been treating him like he’s all that and the bag o’ chips, they don’t pay Eliza much mind and no one says anything of what she’s done for herself, she put in the hard work, but does anyone notice, nope and Eliza finally realizes she doesn’t have to take that shite anymore and leaves, good on ya!

In the morning, when Higgins realizes she’s gone, he’s put out and out of sorts and doesn’t understand why. He can’t understand, after the triumph of the ball, why would she leave. Dense… and he goes into the reason we’re here, Why can’t a woman be more like a man? It’s a sort of conversation with Colonel Pickering, but more the musings of obnoxious, self-centered, misogynistic, need I go on?

If you actually listen to the lyrics, you have to laugh, and to hear it as a song, and if you never really paid attention, but then all of a sudden it hits you, wow. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;Eternally noble, historically fair.” really? “Why can’t a woman take after a man? Men are so pleasant, so easy to please. Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.” seriously? “Why is thinking something women never do? And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do. Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?” Are you kidding me? Seriously, you just have to laugh. Just take a listen, something about it set to music…Now…I have a feeling there are some people who still feel this way, who am I to judge?

And what happens in the end? Eliza goes to Henry’s mother’s house, where he finds Eliza and she tells him she doesn’t need him any longer and walks out. What happens to Henry Higgins? What do you think he realizes? I’ve grown acustomed to her face. At home later, he’s mooning over her and she appears, you don’t see it, but you know she puts him in his place, she’s put up with him and he realizes he can’t or doesn’t want to live without him.

And all the things he moaned about…why can’t a woman be like him? All the reasons he fell in love with her. Go figure…

I don’t know about you, but there are a few songs that make me dance in my seat. Yes, I mean that literally!

I have a plethora, ooh, big word, yeah! that make me get up and dance, and sing, and twirl, and make me smile, and make me feel good, and so much more, and yes, dance in my seat. If you are ever driving behind me when I have the top down on Annie2, my VW Beetle-Bug Convertible, I have been told you can’t see me! But if you pull up next to me, the music is blasting, I love it to the point of the mirrors shaking! and I am usually dancing in my seat! What could be more perfect! Dancing down the road in a convertible!

This is one of my dream cars! 1979…sigh

As I mentioned, there are many songs that make me dance, but dance in my seat, that’s another story. I have Pandora radio on while I work and depending on the station I am listening to, there are songs I can’t help but dance to. Today, it’s Queen Radio. What inspired me at the moment is Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way, which is a great song, and featured in the movie Matilda, starring Mara Wilson and an amazing cast of actors, but we’re not here to talk about the movie, maybe another time! The Peanuts theme song will make me dance in my seat, but that ultimately leads me to getting up and dancing around the room like all the Peanuts characters, it also happens to be my all time favorite song.

In the past few years, The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman and an amazing cast, again, maybe another time! started making me dance in my seat. The next song that came on was Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest and then, just now…Come and Get Your Love by Redbone and while I’m thinking of it, almost everything on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.

I know there’s more, but right now, I have to keep working and if we kept talking about this, we’d never get anything done! So…you know what makes me dance in my seat, I must know…What song makes you dance in your seat? Happy chair dancing!

et cetera