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Saturday, September 18, 2010

It was a Dark and Margot Justes

It was a dark and stormy night...except in this case it was morning. I always wanted to write that, and besides this morning it was dark and stormy. It really was. Instead of turning on the light in my kitchen, I lit a couple of candles, and unloaded the dishwasher, alas it simply refuses to do it by itself. But the ambiance for perfect for fine tuning a couple of scenes I'm having a problem with in Blood Art my vamp story.

Lately, I find that when I perform mundane everyday functions, I tend to day dream about scenes, dialog, characters, a new story, anything to do with writing. Maybe I'm escaping reality, boredom, sameness, whatever the case may be. I really hope every writer goes through that, otherwise...well, the alternative is not pretty.

My afternoon was spent watching my granddaughter test for a yellow belt in Tae Kwando. The discipline, the precision and dedication of those little tykes was inspiring.

Tae Kwando takes the training a step further than the martial arts classroom, it brings it home to the children and parents. It's all about respect.

The child is expected to show the same behavior at home and school. Tae Kwando offers a lot more than learning to defend yourself when necessary, it is also about respect and honor at all times.

My granddaughter indicated she wants to get her black belt, I think that is terrific, because along the way she'll learn to become a more rounded, tolerant human being and still be able to kick...when needed.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Playing Tourist in Chicago by Margot Justes

Friday was one of those incredible days in Chicago, the weather sheer perfection, sunny and warm with a light breeze, everything was still green and plenty of blooming potted flowers on Michigan Ave.
I spent a fantastic day downtown. We parked the car in Grand Park North and walked to State Street, then on to Wacker Drive, and right across the river from the Trump Tower, we found a new restaurant for breakfast. Hotel 71, appeared to be a boutique hotel with an inviting al fresco outside dining area, so we stopped to eat. I had an egg white frittata with mozzarella cheese, veggies and black beans, and it was tasty. Dina had an egg and bagel sandwich with goat cheese. Also yummy.
The Trump Tower is gorgeous, the sleek lines and glass seem to go on forever, nothing garish about this building, except maybe the Trump name everywhere you turn.
After breakfast we walked down Michigan Avenue to Nordstrom's and the Water Tower, where we stopped at Macy's and had a LancĂ´me make over with master make-up artist Alex Sanchez.
That was fun, but I never wear that much make-up, and it took two tries in the shower to get my face really clean, but in the meantime I felt pampered and relaxed.
We walked back on Michigan Avenue and stopped in the Art Institute, there is a certain comfort in stopping in a gallery and meeting old friends.
What makes a master in art, literature, in any of the arts? Is it simply a matter of survival? Or is it somehow so well done that it survives and is still relevant? Who decides that a work is masterful and worth saving? Is it that it gives us comfort because it is familiar, reaches us, makes us think? I've often wondered why a piece of art in whatever format survives through the ages.
A short respite downstairs in the outside cafe, was just what was needed before heading home. And the ride back at 5:00 pm was a breeze, we wondered what happened to rush hour traffic.
Chicago is a beautiful city, with much to offer any visitor; the architecture rivals the rest of the world, as does the theater, restaurants and certainly the museums. Yesterday was a reminder I don't have to go far from home to feel like a tourist.
Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris