Stephanie is teaching a class at the LaGrange Art League called "Creating Abstract Art Using The 'Pour' Method."
Details, and sign-up information are on their site. She's taught this class in the past to much acclaim and much positive feedback. Classes are now under way, but there's still time to sign up and join the fun!

The next Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series night will be on Saturday, June 23, and Matt will be reading the next chapter of his new "Barnstormers" story. You can read the previous chapter on his web site at On that site you can sign up for his mailing list, and you will receive the entire Barnstormers story to date, most chapters with content not read at the Tamale Hut.

For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out
For Matt's writing projects, please go to Enjoy your visit here!

06/29/05: Happy Birthday, Rick! Another new driver on America's highways and byways. In the words of Sgt. Esterhaus: "Let's be careful out there."

06/12/05: Well, we went to see the new Star Wars yesterday.

I've been a Star Wars fan since May 30, 1977, when Uncle Tony took us to see the first in the series. (I still have the ticket!) I was a little upset that they ended The Empire Strikes Back without resolving the Han Solo issue, knowing that I'd have to wait three years to find out what happened to him. But I loved the rest of the movie and The Return of the Jedi as well. In fact, Stephie and I watch our laserdiscs of the original trilogy (without the Lucas-tampering of recent years, thank you very much!) about once a year, usually watching all three over the course of a weekend.

I was, however, severely disappointed by Episode 1, so much so that we didn't even see Episode 2 at the theater, but waited to rent the DVD. But Stephie wanted to see the new one at the show, and considering the positive reviews that it has been getting, I agreed. And I have to say, it should be seen on the big screen. This is one of the most visually stunning films I've seen in a long time. Too bad the story didn't do anything for me.

I don't know how much money they put into the CG effects, but it was money well spent. The opening scenes of the big space battle were breathtaking, and the movements of the robotic characters, particularly General Grievous, were amazing. But during one scene where Anakin and Palpatine were walking through a room, there were four huge lamps on four end tables, and I was thinking "I wonder if those were props they built or if they were computer-generated." Later, I found myself watching the way the doors closed as the ships were taking off instead of what the characters were doing, and I was watching the actors' interaction (or lack thereof) with the surroundings, trying to figure out what was real or CG. I didn't even do that during Sky Captain, which I knew was almost all CG.

Maybe if I remembered more of the last two (of which I remember almost nothing) I would have enjoyed this one more. Maybe I've outgrown this franchise. I dunno. I just hope that these "first" three episodes haven't soured me on the rest of the series.

Oh, and Stephie really liked it. So maybe it's just me.

06/01/05: Although summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, for most people Memorial Day is the start of the summer season. Some people equate the first of June with the start of summer. For us, the marker that tells us that it's summer is the annual Brandeis Used Book Sale, which starts next weekend at the Westfield Shoppingtown at Old Orchard mall in Skokie. Their web site doesn't seem to be up as I write this, but you can click the picture of the flyer here for more details.

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