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 storiesbymatt.net/. 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 artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!


09/19/08: Avast, ye land lubbers! Don't be fergettin' that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, in which we celebrate all things piratical!
     Now ye might think that bein' a pirate was all Johnny Depp and Disney-style monsters, but nothin' kin be further from the truth. Sure, ye had the freedom o' the sea, but ye also had long weeks of nothin' to look at but yer tyrannical cap'n and yer fellow bilge-rats. Nothin' to do but swab th' deck and scrape barnacles, with only the occasional lootin' an' pillagin' te break up th' monotony. Weeks of nothin' to eat but sea biscuits and salted beef, if yer lucky. Scurvy! Ricketts!
     Ye know, maybe the life of a pirate weren't all it's cracked up to be. But we can still talk like one today! So hoist a tankard of yer favorite grog and shout a hearty "Yo-Ho"!


09/13/08: Things we learned in Green Bay last weekend (that's us under the arrow in the picture):
  • They have a beautiful stadium up there. This was the first Packer game we went to at Lambeau Field since the big renovation a couple years ago, and they did a great job adding extra seats and more luxury skyboxes while still retaining the look and feel of the old stadium. The atrium they added with the Packer Hall of Fame and restaurants and other stores is really nice, and it doesn't look at all like a space ship landed in the middle of the field!
  • The fans up there continue to be great. Stephie brought her camera and was taking pictures of the Leinie Lodge in the atrium, when she had me stop so she could get a picture of me. After she snapped the picture, this guy got up from a nearby table, walked over and put his arm around me and said "Now, here's a picture you need to take!" One of his buddies came over and got in the picture and said "OK, go ahead!" Stephie looked a little reluctant but started to raise the camera, and I said "Hey, guys, that's not a digital camera. She's only got a limited number of shots to take." They started waving their hands at her and said "Oh, then don't waste your pictures on us! You need to take GOOD pictures!" They then offered to take a picture of the two of us with her camera. How cool is that? And there were tons of Vikings fans there, with Minneapolis being fairly close. The rivalry between the two teams is almost as strong as between the Packers and the Bears, but we didn't see any problems between the fans, just some good-natured trash talking, similar to what we saw in Indianapolis a couple years ago. Too bad the same can't be said for our experience at Soldier Field.
  • I really, really like when they have the fighter jets do a fly-by at the end of the national anthem. And when you sit real high up in the stadium, as we did, it's not only deafening when they fly overhead, you can actually feel the heat from the engines as they pass by!
  • While we didn't have one, we now know what an "Ultimate Dawg" is. Just as the game started, the two guys next to me sat down, one guy had an enormous hot dog with a bunch of stuff on it. I asked him what it was and he said a foot-long hot dog with chili and macaroni and cheese on it! I watched as he tried to eat it as a normal hot dog, but he soon gave up and used a fork. I forgot about it as the game went on, but when they came back after halftime, I asked him how it was. He said "It was awesome! In fact, he got one!" and pointed to his buddy, who was gamely trying to eat his without resorting to using the fork. As I said, we didn't have one but it looked pretty good. We'll have to try that one at home!
  • My birthday present works really well. Stephie got me a bluetooth keyboard to go with the Nokia Internet tablet I picked up last year, and we took it along with us. The motel we stayed in had wireless internet, so we were able to easily check our e-mail and whatever else we wanted to while we were there. I had been thinking about getting one of those Linux-based mini-laptops that the tech sites have been writing about, but with this combo, I basically have one.
  • Kisu has a new favorite place to stay when we're out of town. On a friend's recommendation, we boarded her at Pawsitively Heaven Pet Resort in Chicago Ridge. There she had her own room with a TV and a doggie door so she could go outside whenever she wanted. She seemed to like it a lot. She had some separation anxiety issues the last time we went out of town and left her where she stayed several times before, but no problems this time. In fact, she didn't seem overly happy to see us when we picked her up!
  • I think the Packers are going to be OK without Brett Favre. We were disappointed at the way that whole retirement situation played out in pre-season. We asked around up there and it seems ultimately the Green Bay fans have the same feelings about the matter as we do. At first, the fans were blaming the coach and the management about how things went down, but as one guy put it, we then saw a side of Favre that we didn't know he had. I wish him all the best (unless he's playing against the Packers, or course) but I just hope that he didn't come back just to wind up getting hurt more seriously than he had in all the time he played for Green Bay.




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