I spent yesterday at a friend's house, pretty much entertaining her while her new windows were installed around us. This is a desperately needed project that has been stalled for three years while the city and the university danced around each other trying to get the necessary permits. But the permits have been gotten, and the window installation has begun. The window guys are remarkably efficient, and the whole thing, nine windows, took about five hours. It was also highly entertaining to watch. I am definitely looking forward to having mine done in September.
While over at her place, we established yet again that her building has a far superior free table than mine does. She sent me down to take a look, and I returned home the proud owner of a cute little ceramic candlestick from France, and a three-tube angklung. The angklung is a Balinese instrument, and thus a little out of my specialty range, since I play central Javanese gamelan. On the other hand, it's kind of a cool thing to have, and it sounds cute when you shake it. And, really, shouldn't every ethnomusicologist have at least one odd-looking small non-Western musical instrument just hanging around the house? I think it's a requirement for the Ph.D or something.
We also leafed through the two issues of this hilarious comic book that I bought at Spertus, the Jewish Hero Corps. The thing that makes the JHC so wonderful is that it's kind of tongue-in-cheek, as much a satire of Silver Age Marvel comics as anything else. I mean, what else would you call Matzah Woman's origin story (got Standard Super Powers™ after eating a piece of atomic matzah, baked with radioactive water in a microwave oven)? Issue #2 goes even further into the affectionate-parody territory.
Last night, I went to the drag show with another friend, who's been doing research on drag queens, and has been taking me to these shows all summer. I especially like the revue at the Cattle Call up in Andersonville, and I love watching the drag queens hanging out with this friend; she's become a real fixture in Chicago's drag community. Last night was Country night, which is something new for the Cattle Call -- usually they do pop or show tunes -- and it was the first time that I was moved to coin the word "pimperriffic" to describe one of the costumes, so you know it was a good show.