Tag Archives: winnetka

remembrance

i have written a play. it’s called remembrance and it’s about love, sacrifice, what happens to us when we die and the universal fear of being forgotten. and how we honor and remember those we love.

the play will be performed at the winnetka community house on april 23, 24, 25 and 26. i am grateful to gina sich who works there and has secured the rooms. there will be no cut auditions on february 22 from two to four at the house. meaning you have a part. you are already a superstar.

there are two casts. one is a core of eight who will be asked to rehearse over the course of late march and into april. they will have to memorize lines, interact with their castmates and probably buy me candy. the remainder of the cast, and i sure hope it’s a big one, only needs to rehearse a few times and gets to choose who they are. maybe you’ve always wanted to be marie antoinette. maybe george washington. maybe socrates. maybe a simple peasant boy from france. the only person you can’t be is cleopatra and that’s because marion scully has already called dibs.

i have had a rough year as you well know. but i need to do this. and i need you. you might be an actor. you might prefer to be a musician. you might be a graphics designer. you might be someone who is willing to help me sell tickets or contact local media. the only slots that have been filled are caterer for the cast party and my bodyguard.  the bodyguard is totally badass.

so help me out here. send this email to every friend you know. because they are your friends they are now mine and i want to meet them on february 22. tell me what you are able to help with. and think about who you are inside.

we are all meant to be loved. and we are all meant to be remembered.

xxoo


i’m possibly your most secret admirer!

a few years ago, i was at edward’s flowers in winnetka perusing a selection of tussy mussies to present to my then husband maximillian for valentine’s day.  winnetka is a small town and everybody knows a little too much about everyone else ergo i knew this much to be true:

1.  etta had never married

2.  etta had two cats

3.  etta was approaching retirement with the foreboding of one who has seen one’s fondest dreams unrealized

a tussy mussy is a diminutive bouquet and requires patience and concentratino on the part of the florist to create.  etta was the best tussy mussy emprasario--

a tussy mussy is a diminutive bouquet and requires patience and concentratino on the part of the florist to create. etta was the best tussy mussy emprasario–

while i regarded my choices, she allowed as how she hated valentine’s day.

“is it because it’s such a busy holiday for florists?”  i asked.

“no, it’s because i was asked to marry on that day,”  she said.  “i was going out with a boy and he asked me to marry him and i got so scared i said no and ran home. the next day, i regretted it and wanted to marry him, really i did.  but he had up and joined the navy and was already gone.  i never saw him again.”

at that very moment, i became etta’s secret admirer. waiting until etta was out of earshot, i asked the manager to make sure etta got a sweet something for the special day.  now, you can’t really give a florist flowers for a holiday because it’s a little like giving candy to a chocolate maker.  etta loved limoge boxes so that’s sort of what she got from her secret admirer.  a few weeks later, the manager slipped me a letter from etta.

“oh, yeah, she quizzed me,”  the manager said.  “i told her i couldn’t tell her who it was.  but she thinks maybe it’s an older gentleman.  married.  too honorable to directly approach her.”

“tell her she’s right.”

so for the next years, i made sure that etta got a valentine’s day gift, a little something for may day, a halloween treat, a christmas surprise. just before edward’s manager left her job, she informed her replacement of the unusual arrangement.

a limoges box is created in the eponymous french city.  the hinged boxes are made of kaolin clay which is native to limoges.  originally created to store snuff, these are collected world wide.  unfortunately, they're damn expensive.  i didn't buy any true limoges for etta, but there are some awfully sweet knock-offs.

a limoges box is created in the eponymous french city. the hinged boxes are made of kaolin clay which is native to limoges. originally created to store snuff, these are collected world wide. unfortunately, they’re damn expensive. i didn’t buy any true limoges for etta, but there are some awfully sweet knock-offs.

and a few weeks after every holiday, i received an envelop addressed to her secret admirer.  often she wrote about her cats and what she had been doing outside of work.  one year she even made me–er, well, the elderly gentleman who was too honorable to declare himself–a christmas ornament out of silk thread and a styrofoam ball.  and in person, etta never once betrayed that there was an admirer in her life and treated me no differently than any other customer.

i have left  winnetka but stopped in at edward’s one last time to pick up flowers and to talk to the manager about how to long distance this relationship.

“i have these for you,”  she said.

three cards were presented to me, each with a floral theme.  in one of them she wrote that she was retiring.

three cards were presented to me, each with a floral theme. in one of them etta wrote that she was retiring.

so now my relationship as her secret admirer is over, but i believe it was her perfect romance.  quiet, restrained, delicate–just like etta herself.  i hope she always and forever thinks of herself as loved.

this was a good relationship for me as well.

this was a good relationship for me as well.

 

 

 

 


twenty three days before this homeless winnetka matron starts selling streetwise. . .

packing up a quarter century of my life.  my ex-husband’s life.  the lives of my sons joseph and eastman.  and my stepchildren david and elisabeth.  the sighs–oh, that’s the second grade workshop project that eastman made me!  the delights–now i know where the hell the cheese grater ended up!  and the self-reproach–really, did i need four sets of dessert plates when i’m an eat the ice cream right out of the container girl?

and what exactly were seventeen of these doing behind the speakers in eastman’s bedroom?

 

life follows us.  and we decide how we mold our experiences.  i can be worried and scared about being twenty three days away from the closing on the house.  i can be excited because i am being given something that not a lot of people my age have–freedom to do exactly as i please untethered by the weight of responsibility to family or real estate.  i can course up and down through the emotional double helix while packing one set of teacups for my stepdaughter elisabeth.

is there something you’re enduring that you’re not too happy with?  what if you turned it upside down and looked at it as a blessing?  i’m not asking you to change your mind about it.  just two or three moments of thinking “i’m really happy that. . . .”  i’m not convinced i’m all that good at it–and my balloons are still stuck to the telephone wires.


at least i have a facebook job! and facebook friends #318 and 319

i have been packing up a quarter century of my life, my ex-husband’s life, my two stepchildren’s lives, my own children’s lives.  it’s sometimes surprising to come across a book, a drawing, a sportsmanship award for which kid and what sport?  i have cried looking at little blobs of clay  that were once handed to me with great pride and  an “i made this for you, mommy!”  but i don’t have to worry about the next phase of my life, because at least i have my job.

well, i have a job on facebook!

i am friends with f2fb friend #318 arthur frank, the father of the delightful gal in the video.  he owns round table books and he was just as surprised to discover that i am now listed as being employed at his establishment.  oddly, he has not offered me a salary.  or a corner office.  on the other hand, i haven’t offered to show up and do actual, like, work.  one of the very odd things about being fifty one is that a lot of employment skills are difficult to implement or to prove to a potential employer without some major practice.  for instance, if i were set loose behind a starbucks espresso machine, i’m sure the company’s share price would drop as precipitously as facebook’s share price.

don’t cry for me, mark zuckerberg! mr. z. has been having some problems of his own even while he’s honeymooning in italy! because of the facebook share price plunge, his net worth has gone from an estimated $20 billion to a paltry $14 billion AND he’s been dropped from forbes magazine’s top forty wealthiest folks list!

 

still, he has even more of a problem–mr. z. set off an italian controversy worthy of a tempermento tantrum enorme!  he doesn’t tip.  no, not at all.  not a a euro at the coffee shop.  not a euro at the cozy sidewalk cafe.  not a euro at the little corner romantic pasta joint.  i went around the world to meet my facebook friends last year and i tipped everywhere.  i gotta ask . . .

arthur might not want to employ me, but he is the owner of a business that will help me.  help me with disposing of the many books i have acquired over the last twenty five years.  round table books takes books on consignment, sells them, and if it can’t sell them, it donates the books to charity.  go visit their website–maybe they can help you find a book you’re looking for or take care of a book you need to find a new home for!  www.roundtablebooks.com right now they have a lot of arlynn presser and vivian leiber books–i wrote under the name vivian leiber for many years.

but arthur’s not doing this alone.  he is employing my f2fb friend #319 eric c. carley who reminded me that there is a very honorable means for a femme seul to live in winnetka–for free!

erin, who i guess qualifies as my co-worker at round table books, will come to my house to take away all the books of so many years. she house sits for people in winnetka and that means she gets to live for free in some of the finest homes–if you want to housesit in your town, go to your local realtor and ask if there are homes that have been temporarily emptied of their owners. you might find yourself in a beautiful mansion!

so next time you look at my facebook page, you’ll notice that i’m employed at round table books.  i wonder if mark zuckerberg would like to give me a job. . . at least on facebook!


not THAT vixen press, THIS vixen press!

it you were at the face 2 facebook party at round table books in winnetka, thank you so much!  it was a lovely evening and it made me realize what wonderful facebook friends i have!

guests were asked to bring a new or gently used children's book to donate to reach out and read illinois! an unexpected development was that the kids who showed up for the party had something to read!

and of course, every party has to have an after party:

cleaning up the next morning, i was a little puzzled as to why there was a random pink wig on the kitchen counter. i had eight house guests. does anybody have something they want to tell me?

 

the party was called “guttenberg* to zuckerberg” and celebrated the many forms that books can take–our host the owner of the round table books arthur frank opened the evening by showing guests a goat skin bound 16th century book.  with my genius friend o.j. dorson  i was able to show off a permutation of the notion of books–namely, a multimedia book that tells the story of my year of meeting facebook friends.  the next morning, i went to my neighbor caryl seidenberg’s home.  she has a press called “vixen press”.

vixen press was founded in 1953 by gil fox and published one hardcover book a month of an, ahem, adult nature. barry devlin was their most prolific writer.

 

no, no, my neighbor caryl has a basement press where she hand prints her books.  she has an intriguing and expansive definition of book.  one of my favorites is “confection” which is really a candy box with word blocks in the individual ruffled paper candy holders.

caryl has printed books for notable authors including the poet laureate robert pinsky. here she is at one of her presses. the tour of the vixen press made me think that about how books have changed from the cuneiform of babylon to the ibook to the hand detailed books she creates.

 

today i am making arrangements for next week in new york meeting facebook friends!  i hope i can figure out how to give another party as wonderful as the one at round table books!  many thanks to round table, to the people at the grand grocery store in winnetka who donated the refreshments, and to the facebook friends who gave books.  xxoo, arlynn


a party invitation for you, yes YOU!

i want to meet you!  yes, you!  i want to see you, my facebook friend or maybe my wordpress friend, at round table books saturday evening five to eight, all you have to do is show your sweet face and maybe bring a new or gently used children’s book!  572 lincoln avenue in winnetka–see you there!


a face to facebook invitation!

it’s been a really wonderful year and a few months of meeting facebook friends around the neighborhood and around the world.  while it’s helped me a lot with anxiety attacks and agoraphobia, it’s most important aspect is to bring facebook’s promise of friendship a reality!  it’s so important that friendship not JUST be a facebook thing, an internet friendship, an email correspondence. 

soooooooooooooo. . . . 

an invitation to all my blogging friends, my facebook friends, my friends friends. . .

date/time:  april 28, five to seven p.m.

where:  round table books at round table books at 572 lincoln avenue in winnetka, illinois

why:  because i really, really want to meet you and arthur frank, proprietor, wants to celebrate the creation of a book celebrating my year and a quarter of facebook friendship.  it’s like a book launch before a book.  and a celebration of friendship!

what to bring:  your sweet self and a new or gently used book to donate to reach out and read illinois which provides children’s books to low income pediatric clinics.

 

will you please come to the party?

 

 

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