Welcome to our web site. 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!

06/22/14: We had a fun evening last night, and got home well after 1 A.M. We started out at Aliano's in Batavia, which has what Stephie says is the best gluten-free pasta she's ever had. All the food was terrific, and we had a table visit from Jonathan Kamm, a sleight of hand artist who did a few card tricks that I haven't a clue how they were done. I thought I was watching closely, but apparently I was not, because he did the same trick several times, the last few fairly slowly, and I still didn't see what he did.
     After dinner, we walked across the street to the Batavia Government Center, to see the Albright Theater Company's latest production, Love Rides The Rails. They describe it as an over-the-top campy melodrama, and it certainly was, allowing the cast to ham it up quite a bit to add even more laughs to the story. This is the second play we've seen at the Albright, and the second to have a former co-worker, Mark Dettman, in the cast. He was pretty good, and the show was great, so if you're in the Batavia area next weekend, it's worthwhile checking out.
     On the way home from the play, after we joined Mark for a post-performance cocktail, we stopped at Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Downers Grove to catch a performance of the Funky Monks, who bill themselves as "The Ultimate Red Hot Chili Peppers Experience." We enjoy the RHCP as much as anyone, but the real reason we stopped was because the bass player, Jeff Genualdi, is a current co-worker of mine. I've known about the band for some time, but we never seemed to make time to go see them, and I figured they probably wouldn't play anywhere closer to our house than there, so we really had to make an effort to go. And I'm glad we did, because they were great! The only problem was that I forgot our ear plugs, and my old ears can't handle the loud rock-and-roll like they used to. Still, the band was having fun, and so was the crowd. I'll have to catch them again.

06/08/14: Thursday night, I took Stephie curling. We've wanted to do that ever since there seemed to be a sudden interest in the sport two or three Olympics ago. We saw it on TV and were interested in giving it a try, but found that there was really only one curling club in the Chicago area, the aptly named Chicago Curling Club, and their season is October through March, so by the time we started to inquire, the season was almost over and they were all booked.
     This year, I thought I got started early by looking to book a curling class for Stephie for her birthday in February, but still no-go. I did put my name on the waiting list, in case any spots opened up. After her birthday passed, I forgot all about it.
     Then in late-March, I got an e-mail from the Chicago Curling Club that a group of curling enthusiasts were starting up a another club in the area, and were looking for people interested in giving it a try. The Windy City Curling Club operates out of an ice rink in Bolingbrook, which is much closer to us than the CCC facility up in Northbrook, so we signed up for a class. The only downside is that they are only there on Thursday evenings, and while I took Friday off this week, if we were to do this with any regularity, it will make for some difficult Friday mornings at work, since we didn't get home until well after midnight.
     And would we want to do it again? I don't know at this point. It was a lot of fun, but much, MUCH more difficult that it seems when you see it on TV. For one thing, it's really far from where you're standing to where the stone ends up. And when you see the people on TV do it, that sliding motion they use to launch the stone looks effortless. In reality, you need to coordinate your one foot sliding with almost no friction at all, your other leg pushing off to start your slide, and trying to support yourself on this plastic tube thing and not on the stone, then while you're doing all that, you need to aim the stone and make sure it has enough motion to get it to the other side of the rink. All the while, you're trying not to fall on your face doing that. I'm uncoordinated enough that I considered the night a success simply because I didn't faceplant on any of my shots. I didn't even care that my entire team didn't score one point.
     Big thanks to Jeff and Matt at the Windy City Curling Club for their patience with us. There were ten in the group and none of us had ever curled before, and I don't know how many will be going back, but there's a good chance that Stephie and I will.

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