Currently • September 2019

“There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other.” ― Laini Taylor

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This September, here’s what I’ve been…

READING:

  • The Gown: An enthralling historical novel about Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown and the fascinating women who made it.

  • Lilac Girls: I’m a bit over the whole WWII female resistance genre, but ok, one more: “Based on a true story of a New York socialite who championed a group of concentration camp survivors known as the Rabbits, this acclaimed debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.”

LISTENING TO:

  • The Midnight in Paris soundtrack: I close my eyes and I almost feel like I’m in Paris. I especially love the music of Cole Porter and I’m eager to learn more about Harry Connick, Jr.’s Celebration of Cole Porter coming to Broadway in December.

  • George Winston’s Autumn: I have listened to Autumn every fall since I was a student at Marquette, and I’m still amazed how just one piano can evoke the sounds of season. I’m even more amazed that this album is nearly forty years old!

WATCHING:

  • Fake or Fortune (Nexflix): We loved this series in which journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate art mysteries and provenance. Thanks to Julie O. for the recommendation! I only wish there were more episodes available in the U.S.

  • Traitors (Netflix): The premise: A British civil servant agrees to spy on her own government for the Americans in the aftermath of WWII; The Good: 1940’s history, music, and fashion; The Bad: everything else — the acting, gratuitous sex and violence, the characters, the Season 1 finale. I doubt that there will be a Season 2, but if there is, we won’t be watching.

  • The Bookshop (Prime): It’s 1959 in a small English town where Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop. At first, this film reminded me of Chocolat but with books; however, the ending… well, you decide!

  • Anne with an E (Netflix): I was initially quite leery about another adaptation of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. I really love the books as well as the original 1985 PBS mini-series (which I fondly remember watching with my dad). Megan Fallows is the face of Anne in my mind and I must admit to a teenage crush on Gilbert Blythe (as portrayed by Jonathan Crombie who, like my dear dad, is no longer with us). When Anne with an E first appeared in my Netflix queue, I resisted watching it; yet, eventually, curiosity and a lack of quality television compelled me to give the newer version of Anne a chance. I must admit that this grittier, somewhat more realistic, Canadian production has me once again enraptured with Anne’s story. Bonus: Eric is enjoying it too.

  • Downton Abbey Movie: “Excitement is high at Downton Abbey when the Crawley family learns that King George V and Queen Mary are coming to visit. But trouble soon arises when Mrs. Patmore, Daisy and the rest of the servants learn that the king and queen travel with their own chefs and attendants -- setting the stage for an impromptu scheme and other shenanigans.” I was so eager to see this and I wasn’t disappointed — the grandeur of Highclere Castle, the costumes, the properly snarky witticisms…I loved it all! Before you go, here is a great recap of the series.

ENJOYING:

  • The return to “normal”:

    • Although my coaching role requires me to be at school throughout the summer, the pace and responsibilities are quite different than during the regular school year. I do enjoy the more flexible schedule and quiet halls, but there is something about la rentrée that is always exciting. This year, there are fewer unknowns despite the massive building referendum that makes navigating the campus a challenge. One unexpected addition to my work this year includes helping a French family acclimate to Pewaukee. The three children speak almost no English so it is my pleasure to advocate for them. It is especially gratifying when I walk into the kindergarten classroom and my little friend’s face lights up because he can freely express himself without the use of the Google Translator app.

    • Miss Piper (and her Mom and Dad) suffered quite an ordeal at the end of August. What seemed like a simple infection escalated into a life threatening condition that included a weekend in ICU and major surgery (along with a major bill). It is hard to believe how sick Piper was and how fast she recovered. I’m stunned by how much better she is — she has so much (too much?) energy, her fur is healthy (no more crazy shedding), and her eyes and colors are so much brighter; she’s a lot sassier too ;-) She will require special considerations going forward, but what princess isn’t high-maintenance?!

  • The first signs of Fall: I love the cool nights and misty mornings, the return of football and cozy sweaters, the fragrance of wet leaves, apples, and cinnamon, and the subtle dulling of the leaves before they burst with color next month.

PLANNING:

  • A weekend in NYC (October 3-6): I’m so honored and excited to have been invited to the Google Certified Innovators NYC Energizer. It has been three years since my last Google get-together and almost eight years since was last in NYC. I intend to make the most of my long weekend. Are there any “must dos” that you would suggest? Here are some things I have planned:

    • Explore Chelsea, the High Line, and Greenwich Village (The Google offices are in Chelsea.)

    • A visit to the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center

    • Breakfast at Tiffany’s

    • Wicked on Broadway

    • A stroll in Central Park

    • A visit with old friends

  • A week in Paris (October 16-23): This time it’s a couples’ trip, so the dynamic has changed as well as the weather (we hope!). Although we intend to relax and enjoy the amazing apartment that we rented, we do have several things planned:

    • Strolls down the Champs-Élysées, in the Latin Quarter, up in Montmartre, in the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, in the Palais Royal, and along the Rue de Rivoli,

    • Check on the damage and restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral

    • Step upon Point Zéro (if we can!)

    • Visit with French friends

    • Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle

    • Make a lovely lunch with fresh ingredients from the market on the Avenue President Wilson

    • Watch the Packers on Sunday at WOS in the Latin Quarter

    • Stop for wine, lunch, and coffee in cafés, tea and macarons at Ladurée, and choux at Odette

    • Browse in book shops

    • Enjoy a dinner cruise on the Seine just like Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant in Charade

    • Take in the view from a rooftop terrace

    • Sip cocktails at the Hemingway Bar in the Ritz

September has been a LONG and busy month and I’m so eager for the October adventure to begin!