Monday, November 20, 2006

007 and Mickey Mouse

It may seem unseemly that in the same weekend I drooled over the new James Bond I also took delight in watching the Festival of Lights parade from my window, but there you have it. I have to say that I really liked the new Bond movie. Really. It's got to be my favorite. This is saying a lot because I waited with anticipation for Pierce Brosnan to be Bond, and I couldn't imagine anyone filling his shoes. I like the movie for more reasons than Daniel Craig's handsome face too. The movie is smarter with an actual plot in addition to all the fancy tricks. I like this Bond a lot more too. He has a sense of humor, and he's more brutal than the others. He's less slick, and is a character closer to how I imagine a spy. I also really appreciated the opening scene that involved free running or Parkour. Sebastien Foucan was the athlete in the movie. It's a cool sport. Click here for a video clip.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The land of Lincoln and the Amish

Our final stops on our way home from Tennessee included Mt. Vernon. Actually, we kinda had to stop there to dodge the ugly weather that was rolling through. I guess all of our weather fairies were taking a break at that point. It turned out perfectly because that way, we got to stop in and see the 5th District Appellate Courthouse. Yes, it is as small as it seems. It's really very cute. In the late 1840's, an extension of the IL Supreme Court was built - which is now the appellate court. This courthouse is where Abraham Lincoln argued and won an important tax case. Another fun fact: The town was named after George Washington's plantation.

From there, on to Arcola and Arthur, IL. This is the country's fourth largest Amish community. There's an Amish Community Interpretive Center in Arcola, along with a few cute shops, the Raggedy Ann and Andy museum (they hold an annual festival) and the world's only "hippie memorial." Arthur is a little more spread out, because it mostly consists of big Amish farms. We stopped in at Beechy's store and shopped with the Amish on fresh pie day. Shoefly pie is really good! And, if you've never seen a horse and buggy go - they haul.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Look, up in the sky!

On our trip back from Nashville, we HAD to stop to check out the official home of Superman. This would naturally be in Metropolis, IL. It's way down there near the border of IL and KY. It's a little old town - with not much going for it outside a super museum for Superman and a Harrah's casino. However, this summer - July 7-10 to be exact - a life size bronze statue of Lois Lane will be erected. Kiddies, pack your bags!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Yeehaw! Welcome to Nashville

I was surprised to find Nashville such a liveable city. It didn't hurt that for the two days we were there it was 78 degrees in November....The downtown is not very big, and it is mostly country and western buildings. Two of the few main buildings include the Grand Ole Opry and Gaylord Entertainment Center - where this year's Country Music Awards were held.

Nashville is also the proud home of the Parthenon - a replica of the one in Greece, complete with a 40 foot statue of Athena.

We also went to Belle Meade Plantation, an old plantation known for raising thoroughbred racehorses and being a stud farm - not to mention for being the headquarters for the Confederate Army at some point during the Civil War. The Battle of Nashville was fought on the front lawn, and you can still see the bullet holes in the front columns of the house. Supposedly one of the plantation owner's daughters stood on the big porch yelling "get off my daddy's lawn" at the soldiers during the fight.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Love the unseasonably warm weather in Chicago?

You have my special guest to thank for that. The only person with a more powerful weather fairy than mine is my mom. Where my weather fairy prevents bad weather from spoiling events, hers actually brings good weather to her. Every time she is in Chicago the weather is PERFECT! She was here a few days before Christmas one year and it was 70 degrees. We took advantage of the nice weather to see Cloud Gate or "The bean" - it was being polished last time she was here. Tomorrow we head to Nashville, TN where it will be a high of 78! I even dug out my sandals for the trip. I'm sure those will look great with the big 'ol cowboy hat I'm gonna get.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The "H" stands for happyland

Cowboy and I discovered a fantastic new store - Super H Mart. It's this gi-normous Asian supermarket. They have a huge produce section, lots of fresh fish, tons of American and Asian food products - the place is huge. But wait, there's more! It's really like a mini mall. When you walk in, they have a bakery and a food court. The bakery offers some of the regulars - cheesecake and chocolate cake - and also sweet potato cake. The little restaurants offered: Chinese food, dumplings, and Korean bbq (my fav!). As you make your way though the giant produce section - I bought a napa cabbage the size of my thigh for $1.50 - you get into the seafood and frozen food areas. If you like fresh seafood - so the place to go (this also counts as a warning if you don't like seafood stalls). Really, I just got a kick out of seeing things like "pickled garlic stems" and "wild ice fish." There was a whole aisle full of different kinds of soy sauce! We ended up getting some Shumai and some curry steamed buns I can pop in the microwave. Relatively non-adventurous, but we also got "Azuki" flavored mochi without being sure what that was. On our way out, Cowboy commented that there's something great about being in line behind someone buying a "black chicken" when it really was a black chicken. Then, another surprise! We thought we were done with the store, but there was more! Little stalls offering products were on our way to the exist. Stalls like: The Face Shop, Beautiville, Jade Bed and Fancy Pencil. Since I'm a sucker for beauty potions and lotions - even though I don't really wear makeup - I'll be back for sure. Who knows? Fancy Pencil may even become my Christmas shopping headquarters. Who knew such an adventure exists in Niles, IL?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Betty v. the homeless guy

This post is a shout-out to all those nerdy boys who ask who would win if paired off in a cage match - Bruce Lee or Muhammad Ali? Ah, a question for the ages.
I thought summer was the season where all the mentally ill homeless people come out of hiding. Maybe there's something about the cold that triggers a mental break...
Two nights in a row I have seen a homeless guy (not the same one) yell at random people on the street and try and fight them. The first was really scary. There was some young college kid who was just standing at the corner waiting to cross the street. He had his little back-pack on and clearly just came from class. He seriously looked MAYBE 18. This guy comes up to him and starts yelling at him - totally nonsensically. The 18 year old didn't know what to do, and did what most people do - tried to ignore him. The light changed and the 18 year old started to cross. Luckily (I guess) he must've been more freaked out than he looked (which is saying something) and he noticed when the homeless guy started running after him yelling something that indicated he wanted to beat the kid to a pulp.
I don't know where it came from, but I went from being a little bit freaked out to Protecto - Girl and started to turn around to follow them to - what? fight the guy for the 18 year old? I think that's where my instincts were going - nuts as that is. Luckily, I didn't have to test where I was going, because I saw that the kid got away, and I turned back to continue on my path home. Anyway, I couldn't help asking myself who did I think would win? Maybe I could give him one of those notorious double punches that are impossible to guard against.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Criminal defense work

This week I had oral argument in my biggest case. It went pretty well. Of course, so did my last one (one of my most interesting and strongest cases) and I just found out that I lost that case. There's always the inevitable Supreme Court petition, but it's never been that likely that they'll take one from us lowly defense attorneys. I'm mad that I lost this particular case, because the facts of this case really illustrate how biased in favor of the prosecution the judicial system is. I can see how so many defense attorneys end up phoning it in after a while.
So, the fact that these oral arguments went well means nothing, and that fact kind of bursts the bubble created from the argument going so well - if you know what I mean.