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Does that ever happen, really?

I don’t think so. I, for example, would undoubtedly be better about — and perhaps even caught up with — blogging if I were able to blog something every time I think about blogging it. But then again, with today’s technological advances, not to mention the amount of time a day I spend sitting at a computer, I probably actually could blog anything and everything I ever wanted, the very second it crosses my mind.

However, I will never be that organized. Nor that committed. I mean: Gimme a break!

So, here are a few shots I have taken over the last, oh, 3 weeks or so … in no particular order … as usual!

This was taken yesterday on my way back from Akin Grade School. I had to snap it because of the haystacks/bales and the telephone poles and the water tower and the truck. Plus it reminds me of Jane and Ray.

Those shots were from our quick trip to Chicago, during which it was basically too cold to walk anywhere — except for a short jaunt down 2 or 3 blocks of Michigan Avenue on Saturday … and we did manage to mosey over to the big Christmas tree at Daley Plaza.

On Thanksgiving Day, Diane and I stopped at the Goat Tower en route to The Ville. She had read about the tower in American Profile: Apparently, a Shelby County farmer built it for his goats, which are from Saanen, Switzerland — where, apparently, the terrain is rather mountainous. (I have no idea if that’s true or not, but … well, it must be, no?)

Apparently, mountain goats the relocate to the flatlands of Illinois don’t mind relaxing on the decidedly un-mountainous terrain!

Later in the day, we relaxed in the recliners in front of my parents’ new doors, watching a little bit of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I posted this on another site as “Joey and Chandler” (like the Friends characters), but I have now decided maybe we’re more like “Alan and Denny” (as in “Shore” and “Crane” from Boston Legal, which I already miss more than I ever imagined possible).

Except for the scotch. And the cigars.

After dinner came the best part of the day (next to the pumpkin pie, of course!): Christmas crafts, courtesy of mi madre. From left are Aunt Janie, Diane, Delra, Di and Mom. We made Christmas trees, gingerbread men (complete with rolling pins!) and tiny bell angels.

I have the cutest cat in the entire world.

Which is kind of funny because — and I may have mentioned this earlier — the first time I saw her, I thought she was the strangest-looking cat I’d ever seen in my entire life.

I’ll post some pictures of her helping me decorate our Christmas tree and wrap presents … eventually. Maybe. Unless I get busy doing something else.

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So, during our weekend visit to Chicago — known as the Windy City, we explained to Kameron, as gusty winds threatened to lift him off the ground whilst walking along State Street! — we also had an opportunity for a “Brush with Fame” when we happened upon a film crew just a block from our hotel.

Not that seeing a film crew is all that out of the ordinary in Chicago. A few years ago, we saw Bruce Willis on Wacker Drive, shooting a scene from Mercury Rising (I never saw the actual movie.) A year or two after that, we saw a bunch of trailers, some cameras and lights, and Sherry asked one of the guys wearing a “Security” shirt what was going on.

“He told me they’re shooting a film with Edward Asner in it,” Sherry said. “And Jason Alexander … whoever that is.”

Whoever THAT is?

“That’s George Costanza!” I squealed.

We waited around for a few minutes, but no George. No Lou Grant, either. (I just checked IMDB: The name of the movie they were filming is The Man Who Saved Christmas. I’ve never seen it, either.)

I’ve seen a few other actors in ChiTown, too: James Kiberd (Trevor Dillon from All My Children) and his wife, Susan Keith (Shana Sloane from Loving — which I only watched for a season or two), strolling arm-in-arm down Michigan Avenue (I suspect Diane and I were the only ones in the city who would have recognized them), and, during that same trip, Brendan Fraser, shopping at Niketown. (Coincidentally, we had just recently seen him in the film School Ties … and, is it just me, or would it be MUCH easier if his name were Brandon Frazier?) Plus, one other time at Niketown, I’m pretty sure I saw Christina Ricci.

Then there was the random celebrity sighting in Daytona Beach, Fla., when my traveling companions and I saw the cast of Revenge of the Nerds as we were leaving our hotel; apparently, they were there filming the Nerds in Paradise sequel. I, of course, had not seen Revenge of the Nerds, so I was completely unfazed — yet willing to walk up to a man my cohorts knew only as “Booger” and ask him for his autograph. (His real name is Curtis Armstrong. I had him address the autograph “To Betty” — Patti’s mom; Betty saved it all this time and, after her death, it was among her belongings and Patti sent it to me.)

I’ve also met John Malkovich (mainly because I’ve worked in the same office with his mom, older brother and youngest sister) and Michelle Pfeiffer (she is more beautiful in person than onscreen, even). I’ve gotten autographs from a few random sports stars, most of them tennis players whose names are unpronounceable (is that even a word). I’ve also had some “Could it be …?” brushes with fame, like the time Sherry was convinced the guy sitting in the bar of the restaurant in Cancun was Tom Arnold (he looked NOTHING like Tom Arnold, I discovered during a walk-by), or when Patti used to come up with these celebrity look-alikes — e.g. “Don’t look now, but it’s former child actor Immanuel Lewis,” she’d say in a conspiratorial whisper when a somewhat short black man walked past our table at Marty’s.

Anyhoo, on Saturday, we saw this guy:

Timothy Hutton

And that’s pretty much what Diane said when she saw him standing across the street from all the cameras and lights and soundboards.

“There’s that guy!” Diane said. “I don’t know who he is, but he’s an actor!”

I glanced over to where she was pointing. “Wow! That’s Timothy Hutton,” I said. “I love him.”

Well, OK, love might be an exaggeration; however, I do love the film Ordinary People, and I do love Timothy Hutton in it, so … yeah, maybe I do love him. Just a little, anyway.

I started snapping away. Meanwhile, members of the film crew kept telling us we couldn’t take pictures, couldn’t use flash, couldn’t take videos, blah blah blah. (If I were really techno-savvy, I would’ve filmed a little snippet using my camera’s video feature and could’ve posted a YouTube clip … but nooooooo. All you get are pictures from me, baby!)

Timothy Hutton & Blurry Man

By the way, a few minutes later, Timothy Hutton was using that stick or club or telescope (?) to smash the windows out of three cars that were parked along Monroe Avenue.

We told Karl and Sherry about our “Brush with Fame” a few minutes later. They were visibly unimpressed because they assumed they had no idea who Timothy Hutton was.

“What’s he been in?” Karl asked.

Ordinary People,” I said. “The Falcon and the Snowman.”

Karl stared at me. “Anything else?”

“Uhhhh …”

I showed them the pictures I’d taken, and they realized that yes, they had, indeed, seen Timothy Hutton in something … they just couldn’t remember what.

Hours later, I would also think of Taps, but I didn’t even bother sharing that title. And, when we returned to Southern Illinois Sunday evening, guess what actor we ran across, starring in a movie called Beautiful Girls, on Lifetime?

That’s right: Timothy Hutton!

Begin 66

Dear Matthew,

Thought of you this weekend whilst wandering around the streets of Chicago. We were headed to the Art Institute when The Lovely said, “Oh, look: There’s the Route 66 sign!” So I snapped a couple of shots — one without flash, and one with (this is the one with). A few minutes later, we were standing in line and a guy selling Street-Wise was telling everyone with cameras to “get a picture of the Route 66 sign,” and I thought, You’re gonna have to give me a lot more information than that to get a dollar from me!

Anyhoo, when I was looking over my photos from the weekend, I remembered one I had taken earlier this year — a different highway, in a much different locale:

Begin 1

I also remembered that on the other side of the street was a sign that showed the end of Route 1, but the “END” part was missing from the sign. It occurred to me, this morning, that I should have taken a picture of the “END” of Route 66; after all, the sign would have been on the other side of the street, right? (I didn’t even think to look!)

All of which makes me wonder:

Are there highways on the moon?

Your pal,
Di

P.S. We did, indeed, see the Richard Misrach “On the Beach” exhibit. I especially liked the photographs of the various people on the beach — reminded me of something by Norman Rockwell, a little — and the ones of individual people in the water.

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